England fans celebrate after winning 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2020 quarter-final soccer match between Ukraine on July 3, 2021 in London, United Kingdom.
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LONDON – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will detail the final steps to ease UK lockdown rules on Monday.
New guidelines on the 1-meter social distancing rule, face covering, visiting nursing homes and working from home will be announced, the government said on Sunday. A government minister told the BBC over the weekend that some rules, such as wearing masks, would become a personal choice if restrictions were relaxed.
Johnson is expected to reiterate that Covid will become “a virus that we are learning to live with as we already do with the flu,” Downing Street said in a statement released on Sunday evening.
“Freedom Day” – or “Step 4” in the government’s long-term plan to ease restrictions – will take place on July 19, when the government’s “four tests” to ease Covid restrictions are met, Johnson will also note.
The tests include examining data to confirm that vaccine delivery is continuing successfully and that infection rates do not risk an increase in hospital admissions. These will be assessed on July 12, the government said after reviewing the latest data.
The lifting of restrictions in England was previously slated for June 21, but was delayed as the highly transferable Delta variant spread across the UK
While infection rates have increased, hospitalizations and deaths have not increased, suggesting that coronavirus vaccines are helping to prevent serious infections.
The UK government has previously signaled reluctance to maintain restrictions longer than strictly necessary. This is despite some concerns among medical professionals and opposition politicians that the restrictions could be lifted too quickly if the variant spreads across the UK, Europe and beyond.
In comments posted on Sunday, Johnson admitted that “the pandemic is not over yet and that cases will continue to increase in the coming weeks”.
“We must all continue to be careful with the risks of Covid and use judgment in our lives,” he said, adding that “thanks to the successful launch of our vaccination program, we are carefully following our roadmap (to lift the lockdown). . Today we are going to set out how we can restore people’s freedoms. “
The UK’s Covid vaccination program was one of the fastest in the world, with 86% of the adult population now receiving a first dose of a vaccine and 63.8% two doses, government data shows.
The Prime Minister will announce the details of the lifting of lockdown rules in England in a press conference on Monday afternoon, due to begin around 5 p.m. London time. At the same time, Health Minister Sajid Javid will present the plans to parliament.