Boris Johnson on Monday announced that the public is set to no longer be legally required to wear masks from July 19, despite his chief medical advisor suggesting that face coverings should be worn as a “common courtesy”.
The Prime Minister declared on July 5 that at the end of his roadmap out of restrictions, face coverings will no longer be mandatory under the law but individuals will instead be encouraged to “exercise judgement”.
He further said that he wanted to “strike the right balance” and move from elaborate government rules to people “exercising personal responsibility”.
Interestingly, he also stressed that this pandemic is “far from over” but the vaccination programme has helped in bringing a “wall of protection”.
“I don’t want people to think this is the end of COVID as it is far from it,” said the British PM.
Here are the new guidelines likely to come into effect from July 19:
- Face masks will no longer be legally required
- The 1m-plus social distancing rule will end
- All legal restrictions on numbers meeting indoors and outdoors will be removed
- All businesses, including nightclubs, can reopen
- Table service rules at bars and restaurants and venue check-in requirements will be scrapped
- The limit on the number of named visitors to care homes will be lifted
- Capacity limits for concerts, theatres and sports events will also be removed
- Guidance instructing people to work from home where possible will be lifted
The government said all its plans will be data-driven and will only be confirmed next Monday on July 12, depending on the latest data. Also, Johnson`s government sets health policy for England, but not for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Under the rule changes, permission will be handed over to transport operators and shops to decide their own policy on the issue, setting conditions for their own premises while remaining mindful of equality law.
The government is also making preparations to offer third booster doses to everyone aged over 50 and the most vulnerable to boost their immunity over the winter months, based on interim advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
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