By Rachael Grealish
The pandemic may be ‘far from over’, but the days of restrictions will be over in just two weeks, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
England’s ‘Freedom Day’ will go ahead on July 19, the Prime Minister confirmed when he set out the plans for Step 4 of the COVID lockdown roadmap.
Speaking today, Monday July 5, from Downing Street – alongside Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance – Boris Johnson said England’s ‘Freedom Day’ will go ahead on July 19 as we must learn to ‘live with COVID’.
He said: “I want to stress from the outset this pandemic is far from over and certainly won’t be over by the 19.
“As we predicted with the roadmap in February we’re seeing cases rise, fairly rapidly, there could be 50,000 cases detected per day by the 19, again as we predicted we’re seeing rising hospitals admissions and we must reconcile ourselves, sadly, to more deaths from COVID.
“In these circumstances we must take a careful and a balanced decision and there’s only one reason why we can contemplate going ahead to step 4 in the circumstances where we’d normally be locking down further and that’s because of the continuing effectiveness of the vaccine rollout.”
The PM seems to be opening up the country in a now or never move as he said: “We must be honest with ourselves if we can’t reopen our society in the the next few weeks, we must ask ourselves when will we be able to return to normal.”
“To those who say we should delay again the alternative to that is to open up in winter when the virus will have the advantage or not at all this year,” he continued.
The PM then a set out our five point plan for ‘living with COVID’ – here are the main points:
- There will be no limits on social contact.
- The legal requirement to wear face masks will be removed – with people instead expected to use their own judgement.
- All remaining businesses, including nightclubs, will be allowed to reopen.
- People will not be required to work from home.
- COVID passports will not be needed for entry into events.
- Test and Trace and self-isolation will continue – but double-jabbed people will be exempt if a contact tests positive.