ECONOMY

Johnson to restore freedoms as he tells public to ‘learn to live’ with Covid-19

T

he Prime Minister is expected to tell people in England that it will be left to their “judgement” to manage coronavirus risks as he prepares to restore freedoms on July 19.

Boris Johnson will lead a Downing Street press conference on Monday where he will tell the public that the country must “begin to learn to live with this virus” in the clearest indication yet that he is preparing to do away with a swathe of restrictions on daily life.

Mr Johnson will update the nation on the future of the one metre-plus rule in hospitality venues, the use of face coverings and work from home guidance, with multiple reports suggesting they will all be scrapped.

It has been suggested that from so-called “freedom day” on July 19 mask wearing will become voluntary, while social distancing in pubs and bars will end – along with needing to use a QR code to check-in – meaning a return to drinking at the bar without the requirement for table service.

Mass events, including festivals, will also reportedly be allowed under the proposals for the final stage of the road map out of lockdown.

Alongside the press conference, Health Secretary Sajid Javid will address the Commons on Monday to update MPs on any changes.

The Prime Minister is expected to say on Monday: “Thanks to the successful rollout of our vaccination programme, we are progressing cautiously through our road map.

“Today we will set out how we can restore people’s freedoms when we reach Step 4.

“But I must stress that the pandemic is not over and that cases will continue to rise over the coming weeks.

“As we begin to learn to live with this virus, we must all continue to carefully manage the risks from Covid and exercise judgment when going about our lives.”

Alongside the press conference, the Government will publish the results of its reviews into the use of so-called vaccine passports and the future of social distancing guidance, Downing Street confirmed.

Mask wearing in public settings is expected to no longer be legally enforced after July 19 / PA Wire
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