PM to announce end of restrictions

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Unlocking announcement: Prime Minister Boris Johnson will update the country about what life will look like on Monday 19 July (image: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street via Flickr)
Unlocking announcement: Prime Minister Boris Johnson will update the country about what life will look like on Monday 19 July (image: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street via Flickr)

Related tags: Boris johnson, ukhospitality, England, coronavirus, lockdown, Bii

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to set out how he will “restore people’s freedoms” by removing all Covid measures including face-covering and social distancing laws.

Johnson will address the country later today (Monday 5 July) on what life will look like under step four of the Government’s unlocking roadmap, set for Monday 19 July.

The decision on ‘freedom day’ will be given the official greenlight on 12 July, providing all four tests for lifting restrictions are met.

Covid laws are expected to be replaced with guidance and an approach of personal responsibility with individuals able to decide if they want to continue wearing masks.

It is expected Johnson will announce social distancing requirements will end this month and vaccine passports will not be adopted, following Cabinet reviews into both issues.

Rules scrapped

Pubs will no longer have to stick to the ‘one-metre plus’ rule and customers will be able to order at the bar pub once more.

The rule of six will be scrapped, as well as the cap on outside gatherings of up to 30 people.

Nightclubs will be able to reopen after over one year of enforced closure. 

It has also been reported it will no longer be mandatory for customers to leave their details with NHS Test and Trace when visiting venues.

However, Johnson has said he “must stress that the pandemic is not over and that cases will continue to rise over the coming weeks.”

Trade bodies have welcomed the newspaper reports previewing Johnson’s announcement. 

Road to recovery

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII)’s CEO Steve Alton said step four would signify a “critical first step on the road to recovery”.

He added: “With full summer trading days lost, staff shortages, supply chain issues, increased operating costs & Government debt repayments, recovery will take years.”

UKHospitality’s Kate Nicholls added: “Good to see Ministers confirming the need to learn to live with this virus as we move to endemic phase and placing emphasis on personal choice and responsibility not legal restrictions.”

The Prime Minister is expected to reiterate comments made by new health secretary Sajid Javid that Covid will soon be comparable to living with the winter flu.

However, scientists have criticised this sentiment with Government scientific adviser Stephen Reicherd saying it was “frightening” ministers believed this.

Reicherd said it was worrying if ministers didn’t realise “that those who do best for health, also do best for the economy.”

The Prime Minister is not expected to provide any update on the possibility of a test and release system for vaccinated people alerted to isolate by the NHS app.

Related topics: Legislation

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