Lockdown rules will be almost totally lifted on July 19 with ‘personal responsibility’ replacing laws on social distancing and face masks, it has been reported.
Ministers are said to be encouraged by the “very, very” low number of deaths from Covid and an apparent slowdown in infections.
And The Times reports that a switch from law to “personal responsibility” is to be made, with rules on social distancing, working from home and wearing face masks dropped.
Meanwhile, separate reports say Boris Johnson could combine the July 19 unlocking by opening up the amber list of countries to quarantine-free holidays in time for schools breaking up.
It comes after the most recent data revealed that infections from coronavirus are at the highest level since February, after months of lockdown.
There were 11,625 new cases recorded on Tuesday, government figures show, as well as a further 27 deaths. The last time the UK saw more deaths was in April.
But hospitalisations and deaths have not risen to the degree of previous waves, with the vaccine rollout now reaching all adults over 18, with 87% of adults now possessing antibodies, according to latest studies.
The Times reports that the government is expected to confirm on Monday that July 5 is too early to lift the final remaining lockdown restrictions.
But Boris Johnson is said to be increasingly optimistic that all remaining restrictions can be eased on July 19.
This would include the lifting of the the one metre-plus social distancing rule and the “rule of six” on indoor gatherings.
It would also scrap the limit on mass gatherings outdoors and nightclubs would be able to re-open.
Mask wearing would be reduced to guidance rather than compulsory usage.
A senior government source told the publication that ministers want to “get as close to normal as possible” on July 19 and that the emphasis will be on “personal responsibility” rather than laws and regulations.
Ministers are said to believe the latest data is ‘so encouraging’ that Boris Johnson should push ahead with easing restrictions on July 5, but this is regarded as “implausible” given a need to vaccinate more people.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that as well as dropping other restrictions fully vaccinated Brits could enjoy quarantine-free travel as early as July 19.
Senior ministers are said to be pressing Boris Johnson to sanction a reopening with travel curbs eased at the same time that restrictions are lifted here.
Advice against trips to amber list countries would reportedly be dropped under the plans.
A Cabinet source told the publication there was ‘clear evidence’ vaccinations were working.
The source said: “It’s all over, even if not everyone in Government has realised it yet.
“The link between cases and deaths is broken. We know that double jabs work to protect people so why delay the resumption of international travel? There is no reason not to go ahead now – every day counts.”
The Prime Minister is expected to announce on Monday whether lockdown will end early on July 5 or not.