The prime minister has set out government plans to lift the remaining Covid restrictions in England.
He said that most legal restrictions and guidance in England should be removed from 19 July.
What did the PM say?
At a Downing Street briefing, Boris Johnson said the government was looking to “move away from legal restrictions” and would instead allow people “to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus”.
What rules and guidance are expected to be relaxed in England?
Confirmation of the lifting of restrictions and guidance won’t actually happen until 12 July, when the latest Covid health data will be reviewed. However, the following measures are expected:
Social distancing/face coverings
- no limits on social contact
- 1m-plus rule removed (except in some settings, such as ports of entry and medical settings)
- no legal requirements for face coverings (although their use will still be advised in hospitals, healthcare settings and enclosed, crowded public spaces)
- nightclubs permitted to reopen
- capacity caps on businesses will be lifted
- hospitality businesses will no longer be required to provide table service only
- no limits on numbers at weddings and funerals
- no restrictions on communal worship and singing
- no limits on people attending concerts, theatres or sports events
- no legal requirements for Covid certificates for any venue or event
- The guidance recommending against travel to amber countries will be removed
- Adults who have been fully vaccinated in the UK will no longer have to quarantine for 10 days on their return from amber list countries
- Under-18s travelling with fully-vaccinated adults won’t need to quarantine
- Those on approved clinical trials will count as vaccinated
- UK passengers can prove their vaccination status to their travel operator before departure via the NHS App or an NHS Covid Pass letter, and include the details in their passenger locator form.
Aren’t Covid cases on the rise?
Yes, and they are expected to continue to rise as restrictions ease.
But, because of the vaccination programme, the link between infections and hospitalisations and deaths has been weakened.
Downing Street says hospitalisations, serious illness and deaths will continue, albeit at a much lower level than before vaccinations started.
Mr Johnson told reporters the time between first and second jabs for under-40s would be cut from 12 weeks to eight.
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