“Freedom Day” has already delayed from mid-June. Last night, Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid set out plans for Step 4, England’s exit from almost all restrictions. There will be no limits on gatherings. Pubs and hospitality businesses will return to normal. People will no longer be encouraged to work from home. Face masks will not be compulsory.
Rules on schools are to be announced today and international travel shortly.
Is this the right move? Is now the right time to lift restrictions? Or should we wait longer before easing up? Let us know your view by voting below.
Boris Johnson has confirmed that social distancing rules, the rule of six inside private homes, work-from-home guidance, and legal face mask requirements are to be scrapped on July 19 as part of the easing of lockdown rules. He said final confirmation of that date will come on July 12 after a review of the latest data. Further updates on plans for school bubbles, international travel and self-isolation are to be published in the shortly.
It will no longer be a legal requirement to wear face coverings in any setting, including public transport, though the government will advise this as a voluntary measure for crowded and enclosed spaces. There will be no limits on the number of people who can meet. Health secretary Sajid Javid told the Commons: “It will no longer be necessary to work from home.” Limits will also be removed on the number of people who can attend events such as weddings and funerals. We can sing our lungs out because there will be no restrictions on singing or communal worship.
Pubs and bars will go back to the old days when you had to go to the bar to get served. Families will be able to visit relatives on care homes together.
Currently, cases in England are running at more than 20,000 a day. Johnson accepts that there could be 50,000 cases a day by 19 July. Hospitalisation however is much lower as the virus is now spreading amongst a younger fitter population and the vaccines help protect against severe disease.
Eighty-six per cent of UK adults have had at least one jab and 64% have had two. The government is reducing the dose interval for under-40s from 12 weeks to eight with the aim of ensuring every adult will have had two jabs by mid-September. That’s of course two months after “Freedom Day”. The most vulnerable will be offered booster covid-19 jabs (third dose) from September in time for the winter, possibly at the same time as the flu jab.
What is your view? Is this a reckless move? Is it an essential move? Or should we be more cautious?