Amid the speculations on the scrapping the rules on people to wear masks in many public meetings in UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will provide an update on Monday over the plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions in England.
Johnson is scheduled to hold a press conference on the government’s current outlook for “Freedom Day” which is the plan to end the remaining COVID-19 restrictions on business and social interactions on July 19.
On July 12 a final decision will be announced on a series of tests, including vaccination rates and the risks posed by new virus variants. The British government, which put into place one of the longest lockdowns in the world, has lifted restrictions in a series of steps that began with reopening schools in March.
However, amid the raising concerns over the rapid spread of the delta variant which was first discovered in India, the fourth and final stage was delayed last month to provide time for more people to be vaccinated.
Johnson in a statement ahead of his news conference said, “Today we will set out how we can restore people’s freedoms when we reach step four.” “But I must stress that the pandemic is not over and that cases will continue to rise over the coming weeks.”
Meanwhile, concerns have been expressed by some doctors about easing restrictions further as infection rates continue to rise.
But there hasn’t been an equal rise in coronavirus hospitalizations or deaths, encouraging ministers who believe that Britain must learn to live with the virus and that the time is right to end the remaining restrictions.
The British government is preparing to offer a third jab of vaccine to everyone over 50, as well as younger people are more prone, to boost their immunity over the winter months, following interim advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Inoculation. About 63.4 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated and almost 86 per cent of UK adults have received at least one vaccine dose.
Over the past seven days the number of confirmed new infections in the UK rose to 67 per cent from the previous week but the 122 coronavirus-related deaths reported were two fewer than the previous week. Public health officials attribute the divergence of the figures to the success of Britain’s vaccination program. In the coming months final advice is expected.
Along with addition to the rules on wearing face masks, Johnson will lay out plans for easing rules on social distancing and working from home, his office said.
“As we begin to learn to live with this virus, we must all continue to carefully manage the risks from Covid and exercise judgement when going about our lives,” Johnson said.
He will also discuss the government’s plans for certifying people’s vaccination status or their recent COVID-19 test results with what are commonly known as vaccine passports.