Plan to lift Covid restrictions announced

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Boris Johnson has confirmed that the majority of the remaining Covid restrictions will be lifted on Monday 19th July.

In yesterday’s daily press briefing, the Prime Minister said that a final ‘careful and balanced’ decision will be made on 12th July but that it is looking likely, due to the effectiveness of the vaccine roll out, that the majority of Covid restrictions will be lifted.

By the 19th July, the Government also expects every adult to have received the first dose of the vaccine, with two thirds receiving both. Boris Johnson announced his 5 point plan for living with Covid:

  1. Reinforce the vaccine – The Government will reduce the waiting time between doses from 12 weeks to 8 weeks for the under 40s. This is in addition to announcing that there will be an Autumn booster for the most vulnerable.
  2. Change basic tools for human behaviour –  This will allow people to make their own informed decisions with individuals being asked to manage the risks from Covid themselves. The majority of current restrictions will be lifted:
    Face coverings – Face coverings will no longer be mandatory for people to wear, with businesses and venues no longer having to enforce their use. Face coverings will become voluntary, with the public advised to use them where they see fit. Guidance will be given on where it is suggested that individuals could wear a mask, such as where you come into contact with people you don’t usually meet in enclosed and crowded places.
    Social distancing –People will also no longer have to adhere to social distancing. The 1m plus rule will be lifted other than in specific places such as at the border to help manage the risks of new variants coming into the country.
    QR code sign-ins at restaurants and venues – Businesses will no longer have to ask customers to check in to their venues by scanning the Test and Trace QR code. If businesses wish to use a Covid certificate for entry, venues can continue to do so through the app.
    Rule of six for gatherings – The rule of six will be scrapped for good with the general public allowed to mix with pre covid group numbers.
    Table service in pubs and restaurants – There will be no legal requirement for table service in hospitality venues with customers allowed to order food and drink at the bar.
    Nightclubs, theatres and cinemas – Nightclubs will be able to reopen with no restrictions and no social distancing. Capacity limits in theatres and cinemas will also be lifted.
    Working from Home – Workers will be able to return to the office after 19 July. It will be up to employers to determine whether staff should be in the office, with the government advice of ‘people who can work from home should’ set to end.
  3. Manage with Test, Trace and Isolate – Individuals will have to continue to self isolate if they test positive to Covid. There will also be a move to a new regime whereby fully vaccinated people would no longer need to self-isolate if identified as a contact.
  4. Maintain tough border controls whilst recognising the protection afforded by 2 doses – The Government will work with the travel industry to remove the need for fully vaccinated individuals to self isolate from amber countries. Proof of vaccination or a negative test will still be required for international travel.
  5. Continue to monitor data

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