What exactly Freedom Day will look like on July 19 should become much clearer today when Boris Johnson takes stock of the easing of coronavirus restrictions in England.
The announcement, at 5 p.m. on Monday, will outline preparations for the eventual unlock on July 19. Current restrictions impose gatherings of only six indoors, no more than 30 for outdoor gatherings, a social distancing of one meter in pubs, a ban on mandatory nightclubs and masks in place.
July 19 could see those restrictions lifted – but the public and businesses will be urged to use “common sense.”
Originally, June 21 was marked as Freedom Day, but the lockdown roadmap was extended in England for another four weeks to control the spread of the delta variant last month.
Here’s what we expect to be announced:
The government will urge people to continue wearing face masks even after legal restrictions are lifted from July 19, according to The Telegraph.
Wearing face coverings will no longer be compulsory, but the public and businesses will be encouraged to use âcommon senseâ and consider using them in confined spaces.
The public will also be warned that certain businesses, restaurants or public transport will decide to continue to require them.
Hospitality chiefs have said masks, table service and the rule of six will continue in some places after July 19, as Covid risk assessments, applied by councils, are left to individual companies.
Kate Nicholls, Managing Director of UK Hospitality, an industry body, said: “There will be customers who expect everything to fall apart and there will be places where they can’t. “
She expected most pubs to remove the requirement to wear masks, especially if patrons are allowed to stand at the bar, but other businesses would have the right to enforce their use with larger patrons. reluctant.
“If you feel confident you are very happy to go to a crowded pub, it shows football and people getting up, and if you are a more reluctant consumer you go and get the ones where there is a table.” . service, âMs. Nicholls said. “You will get this kind of rendering apparent on a lot of customer websites.”
She also warned that some local councils could try to force hotel companies to be stricter with the rules.
“I think there might be a temptation from local authorities, which must be resisted, to put in place real fixed regulations or rules that are more restrictive than they should be,” he said. she declared.
Andy Byford, London’s transport commissioner, has warned passengers may still be required to wear masks on the tube.
âIf the government advises to drop the masks, we will always heed what our customers have said,â he said. “What our customers have said is that they want to see a clean, safe and tidy environment.”
Work at home
The work-from-home rule should be relaxed, as businesses have said city centers should be allowed to ‘buzz again’.
Ministers on the Cabinet Covid O committee are meeting on Monday to consider proposals to relax guidelines which currently state that “anyone who can work from home must do so.”
They are expected to support a change in advice, although they are unlikely to repeat last summer’s message when commuters were encouraged to return to work.
âYou can’t lift the mask and social distancing requirements and then say don’t go back to work,â a government source said.
âThese changes will allow offices to become more secure against Covid. This means that workers will not be crowded together as close to each other as before, but employers can get staff back to work because they no longer have to obey the X, Y, Z rules. “
Ministers hailed the move as a “personal responsibility” replacing state rules, with employers urged to work with their staff for a safe return to work.
Companies could be encouraged to continue telling their employees to wear face masks, regularly use hand sanitizers, and test employees for Covid.
It came as 50 business leaders, including CEOs of BT, Capita, Heathrow and Gatwick, urged ministers to end working from home as the default position to “put the country clearly on the path to recovery. recovery “by encouraging people to return to the office.
Boris Johnson is expected to announce that the government’s âone meter plusâ social distancing rule will be removed from July 19 along with the six indoor rule and 30 limits for outdoor gatherings. Businesses such as nightclubs will also be allowed to open from Freedom Day.
Social distancing rules are the bane of the entertainment industry because they limit the number of people who can visit restaurants, pubs, theaters and cinemas at any time. Sports venues are also subject to rules, limiting the number of people in crowds.
Some train companies have introduced mandatory reservations on their services to limit the number of travelers that can be on each service, while offices have introduced rotations to reduce the number of employees in the building at all times.
Social distancing will end and be replaced by other forms of mitigation to prevent the spread of the virus. A source said the government’s approach will focus on three pillars: hygiene, ventilation and sanitation.
Nightclubs could be encouraged to use mechanical ventilation systems to maintain airflow on dance floors, where revelers will mingle in nearby neighborhoods. Sites may also be allowed to require Covid testing for customers, but plans for national vaccine passports have been scrapped.
The requirement to scan a QR code to enter a bar, restaurant, hairdresser, gym, museum or other place should also be removed, although places are still free to do so voluntarily to reassure customers and help track outbreaks.
The government’s shift in focus will shift the responsibility for stopping the spread of Covid onto businesses rather than customers.
The Prime Minister will also announce further easing of restrictions on residents and visits to care homes. This follows last month’s decision to allow overnight stays as part of an easing of visitation restrictions.
Previously, residents were only allowed to leave nursing homes for an outside visit or for high priority reasons, such as a dentist or general practitioner appointment. They will now be able to do so for more social reasons without having to isolate themselves.
A five-point bailout to mitigate the impact of the Covid pandemic on children is being drawn up by Boris Johnson officials after mounting pressure from Tory MPs.
The Telegraph received details of a document submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Covid Operations, with announcements expected later this month.
One of the proposed changes concerns the obligation for schools to send home “bubbles” of pupils to be dropped from July 19.
Another is to end student self-isolation if they are reported to have been in contact with someone with Covid from the fall term, replaced by a system of daily testing.
A third is to continue bi-weekly testing of all high school students during the school term until the end of September, but then revise it, meaning the arrangement could be scrapped by October.
Other elements are a renewed campaign to vaccinate teachers and a “return to the full school day” from September, with only a positive PCR test keeping the children trapped at home.
The current travel restrictions are on a different roadmap, so there shouldn’t be any changes announced on Monday for the Red, Amber, and Green listings.
Travel across Europe remains limited. Although the UK has given Malta the green light for travelers, the country will now deny entry to Britons who are not fully vaccinated.
In Spain, British tourists will have to prove that they have received both doses of the vaccine or a negative PCR test upon arrival.
While Portugal remains on the orange list for travel, the country will now require travelers to be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival, unless they can prove that they have received their second dose of the fifteen vaccine. days before their visit.
The Prime Minister said on June 21 that Britons were facing a “difficult year for travel” whether or not he pursued his plans to abolish travel quarantine rules for double-stung Britons.
But in more positive news, Angela Merkel said Germany will soon relax quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated Britons.
Speaking at a press conference with Boris Johnson on July 2, the German Chancellor said: âFor the foreseeable future, those who have suffered double injections will once again be able to travel without quarantine. “