Boris Johnson confirms covid restrictions will be lifted from Monday
Prime Minster Boris Johnson has confirmed that Covid restrictions will be lifted from Monday.
But he stressed the need for caution and that the pandemic was ‘not over’
Mr Johnson confirmed this evening that plans to proceed with lifting the restrictions on July 19 brought in through lockdown will go ahead ‘with caution’
He said making the change now with schools set to break up would provide a fire break.
He said that if a new variant arrives, he would rule nothing out, and that he must protect the public.
He said: “It’s vital that we proceed now with caution.
“This pandemi is not over. This disease continues to carry risk for you and your family."
He added the country could not revert instantly to life before covid, and said he expected people to wear a face covering in some cirumsances like crowded indoor places and public transport.
He said he expect the whole country to return to their desks from Monday.
He urged nightclubs to make use of NHS Covid passes showing vaccine test or natural immunity, and urged everyone to keep thinking of others and consider risks.
Test and trace will remain in place.
He said seven million more jabs had been carried out in the in last four weeks since the originally planned date for ending restrictions on June 21.
He said: “The single most important thing is that you get that jab, It’s only thanks the the vaccine programme we can take thiese steps now.”
Prof Chris Whitty said that for the dominant Delta variant there was confidence that one dose reduced a symptomic infection by a third, and two doses by around 80 per cent
He said it was even more effective against hosptalisations, with a 90 per cent reduction of risk of hopsitalisation after two doses. He said Delta variant was now the dominant variant. Looking at other variants of concern, numbers were low and not rising, or shrinking.
Mr Johnson said there would be more deaths and hospitalisations from Covid but that was always foreseen.
The changes on July 19 will see:
No limits on how many people can meet
1m-plus rule removed in most places
Face coverings no longer required by law
Events and gatherings
Nightclubs can open
Pubs and restaurants no longer table service only
No limits on guests at weddings and funerals
No limits on people attending concerts, theatres or sports events
No restrictions on communal worship
Guidance recommending against travel to amber countries removed
Adults fully vaccinated in the UK will no longer have to quarantine for 10 days after returning from amber list countries
Under-18s won't need to quarantine
Read more: What are the travel rules for people with both jabs?
Limits on visitors to care homes will be removed
On 16 August most Covid restrictions in schools - including "bubbles" - will come to an end ahead of the autumn term starting.
It will remain a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid.