19 July ‘end of the line’ for restrictions

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Lockdown end: new health secretary Sajid Javid said he saw 'no reason' for pandemic restrictions to continue beyond 19 July (image: Getty/Peter Kade)
Lockdown end: new health secretary Sajid Javid said he saw 'no reason' for pandemic restrictions to continue beyond 19 July (image: Getty/Peter Kade)

Related tags: Legislation, Health and safety, coronavirus, lockdown, Sacha Lord, Bbpa

Lockdown rules will be lifted on Monday 19 July in an “irreversible” step, new health secretary Sajid Javid confirmed last night.

Addressing MPs, Javid described 19 July as the “target date” for scrapping all remaining pandemic restrictions on social contact.

He said he saw “no reason” for further delays and warned that “no date we choose comes with zero-risk for Covid.”

About two-thirds of all adults will have had both doses of a vaccine by 19 July, Javid said.

This will mean more of the country is protected against the Delta variant of the virus, which is now the dominant strain in England.

There had been some hopes in the sector that restrictions could be eased earlier than this date, with talk of a 5 July easing.

Terminus date

Night-Time Industries Association CEO Micheal Kill described the reopening delay as “hugely disappointing if predictable,” and called for financial support to be bolstered.

Javid’s comments on easing rules as soon as possible had “buoyed” the sector, Kill said.

“He must make good on this now so that the 19 July really is the terminus date - when we can open fully and experience culture again. 

“During this extended period of closure businesses and workers need to be supported through the extension of current government financial reliefs. They cannot be expected to pick up further debt whilst waiting for the opportunity to open.”

Long lasting effects

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has said in total the delay beyond 21 June will cost pubs £400m, with pubs set to lose out on £200m in the next two weeks.

Night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord was among the sector voices calling for additional financial support for businesses.

He said: “The financial impact of the pandemic will have long lasting effects on the night time economy and the sector urgently needs ongoing support including an extension to furlough and business rates holidays, in order to give venues a stable grounding on which to recover over the long term."

Lord also called for “full guidance” for businesses preparing to reopen on 19 July after over a year closed.

Related topics: Legislation

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