Almost all the covid-19 restrictions that remain in force in England will be lifted on July 19, despite the increase in cases and forecasts that predict more deaths from the virus, as announced by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
From that day, face masks will not be required on public transport, but the population will be advised to consider wearing masks in spaces where they mix with people they do not know. On the other hand, nightclubs will reopen, Johnson explained Monday at a press conference.
The six-person limitation for meetings in private homes will also be lifted, as well as restrictions on the number of attendees at weddings and funerals. The social distancing requirements and the limitation of bars and restaurants to table service will also be suspended.
“We must resign ourselves, sadly, to the fact that there are more deaths from covid,” the president lamented, while admitting that the country registers a growing number of coronavirus infections and hospital admissions, reaching 50,000 daily cases by 19 July.
In that sense, the president pointed out that authorities must make a “careful and balanced” decision on the restrictions, although he once expressed his hope that the government can lift most of the remaining restrictions on July 19, with a review of the latest health data set for July 12.
“Far from the end”
On the other hand, the prime minister indicated that the national test, trace and isolation system will remain in operation after July 19, although the government is considering different arrangements for fully vaccinated people and for children. People still need to isolate themselves if they test positive for the virus or are ordered to quarantine by the system.
In any case, Johnson stressed that restrictions could be reintroduced in the future.
“We are very far from the end of dealing with this virus,” the president said. “Obviously, if we find another variant that does not respond to vaccines … then, clearly, we will have to take the necessary measures to protect the population.”