July 19 ‘Freedom Day’: Barnsley residents looking forward to lockdown lifting but remain cautious

Barnsley residents say they are looking forward to restrictions lifting on July 19 – but many remain cautious.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 3:07 pm

The Prime Minister yesterday (July 5) announced that face masks will no longer be legally required, and social distancing rules will no longer be in place from July 19.

Boris Johnson said people must “learn to live” with Covid as the rule of six indoors and 30 outdoors will be scrapped.

There were mixed views in Barnsley today (July 6) – but most are looking forward to a return to normality after 16 months in and out of lockdowns.

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Town hall.
Town hall.

The current rate of infection is 410.3 per 100,000 population – far higher than the UK rate of 229.9.

However, hospital rates remin low, with five Covid-19 patients in hospital as of June 29.

“They could probably have left masks,” said Jamie, the manager of 80s Casual Classics in the Arcade.

“A couple of staff members say they want to get back to normal. Popping a mask on when a customer comes in isn’t a big deal.”

Donna, of independent sporting goods shop Blackfords Barnsley, says she hopes the government do relax restrictions on July 19, adding that “We all need to get back to some normality.”

One outdoor market trader said he beleived the government are “going for herd immunity” by lifting restrictions as cases are rising.

“They are taking a gamble and hoping the vaccine will save lives,” he added.