• Fri. May 12th, 2023

Boris Johnson looks set to ditch face masks, QR codes in bars and the one-metre plus rule on July 19 as England lifts lockdown rules

Jul 4, 2021

After almost 18 months of Covid lockdown measures, Brits are clamouring for a life without restrictions.
And as Boris Johnson prepares to unveil what will be possible after “Freedom Day” – the delayed end of England’s lockdown – hopes are high that the moment is almost here.
It comes as the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that about one in 260 people in private households in England had Covid in the week to June 26 up from one in 440 in the previous week and the highest level since the week to February 27.
The British Medical Association (BMA) had said that keeping some protective measures in place was crucial to stop spiralling case numbers having a devastating impact on peoples health, the NHS, the economy and education.
But Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has appeared to all but confirm reports that rules around face masks, self-isolating, school bubbles and foreign travel will be eased.
He said the impact of the vaccine on preventing serious illness meant it was time to “roll back” the “difficult” restrictions that have been in place for the past 16 months.
Mr Jenrick told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “It does look as if, thanks to the success of the vaccine programme, that we now have the scope to roll back those restrictions.”
And the newly appointed Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the UK “must learn to accept the existence of Covid” as it does the flu.
Here are all the ways life could be different after the “terminus date” for restrictions.
Will you still wear a face mask even if it’s not required? Let us know in the comments
Face masks may soon not be compulsory (Image: Getty Images)
Masks no more
Enforced mask-wearing looks set to finally end, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed.
He told Sky News that England was moving into a “different” phase when people would make choices as “individual citizens” rather than ministers telling people “what to do”.
He said people can choose to continue wearing a mask if they thought it necessary.
Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, which provides modelling evidence to SAGE, said July 19 is “probably the right time” to consider ending the wearing of face masks.
He told BBC Breakfast: “It’s an interesting one. If we are going to do that I think probably this is the right time to consider that.
Ordering your drinks at the bar
The “terminus date” is also set to include the end of the one metre-plus rule in hospitality venue, according to separate reports.
This will mean a return to drinking at the bar without the requirement for table service.
The hospitality sector, which has suffered a huge blow in recent months, will welcome the news.
But bosses have said the move would not lift pressures it is currently under as a result of the NHS Test and Trace app, which bosses said was casting the net quite wide in terms of who it pings as a close contact of a positive case.
The rule of six for indoor gatherings is also set to be binned.
Punters may soon not have to scan QR codes
QR codes may be scrapped
The need to scan a QR code before entering bars, restaurants and other venues, such as museums is likely to end as part of Stage 4 of the roadmap.
Businesses will also no longer be required to collect customers contact tracing details at the door so that the spread of infections can be checked and people warned if they need to self-isolate.
It will mean less queues and less hassle for punters, as well as there being less chance visitors and staff are forced into self-isolation by the NHS Test and Trace app.
Festivals and mass events back on
Mass events, including festivals, will also get the green light under the proposals, according to reports.
It means going to live music, theatre and nightclubs will be back on, after almost 18 months of large events being banned.
Meanwhile, the Government’s taskforce is still examining whether vaccine passports could be an option for some venues.
No more isolation for the double-jabbed or schoolchildren
A No 10 source said it was looking at whether to drop all legal self-isolation measures for fully vaccinated people who come into contact with someone who is infected as a possibility for life after Stage 4 of the road map.
It would mean that even those who are pinged by the app will not be forced into a lengthy quarantine.
Group of students are walking down the school corridor together wearing uniform.
Pupils will also be stopped from missing more school as ministers look set to end automatic self-isolation for youngsters.
Double jabbed Brits can go on holiday
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said that people have had both doses of the vaccine will be able to travel to amber list countries “later this summer”.
It will mean that soon people can book holidays in destinations such as France and Spain without having to quarantine on their return.
Double jabbed Brits may soon be able to visit amber list countries (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
A Downing Street source told the Telegraph: We believe it is now time for the public to start learning to live with Covid.
All the data and scientific modelling suggests that the lifting of restrictions will lead to a rise in cases but with the continued success of the vaccine rollout and the break in the link between hospitalisations and deaths we are confident there will be no risk of it putting significant additional pressure on the NHS.
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