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The lockdown restrictions ending on 19 July

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Prime minister Boris Johnson has said he hopes most legal lockdown restrictions in England will end on 19 July – so-called Freedom Day.

Speaking at a Downing Street briefing, he said the “pandemic is far from over” but he hoped to move forward with ending the restrictions thanks to the “the continuing effectiveness of the vaccine roll-out”.

He said: “If we can’t reopen our society in the next few weeks, then we must ask ourselves when will we be able to return to normal?”

Johnson will make a final decision on easing the restrictions on 12 July. If it goes ahead, the following changes will take place from 19 July:

– Limits on social contact will end, meaning there will be no restrictions on indoor or outdoor gatherings. Weddings, funerals and other life events will be able to take place without limits or restrictions.
– All venues currently closed will be allowed to reopen, including nightclubs.
– No legal requirement for table service in hospitality settings.
– Face coverings will no longer be legally required in shops, schools, hospitality, or on public transport although guidance will be in place to suggest where people might choose to wear one, such as in crowded places.
– The one metre social distancing rule will be lifted (except at borders and medical settings).
– There will be no legal requirement to use Covid-status certification as a condition of entry for any venue.
– Guidance to work from home where possible will end.
– The cap on the number of visitors for care home residents will be removed from the current maximum of five per resident.

The prime minster said more announcements would follow this week about: –

– ending school bubbles and self-isolation for children who come into contact with a person who has tested positive.
– ending self-isolation for fully vaccinated people who have come into contact with a person who has tested positive.

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