Explained: What can't I do from 'Freedom Day' on July 19?
- Credit: Archant
Boris Johnson has outlined the changes in coronavirus rules which will come into effect from July 19 – should 'Freedom Day' go ahead – but what rules will remain?
The easing will see the vast majority of rules scrapped in England, with the government moving to "personal responsibility" following the success of the vaccine programme which has continued to drive down the number of hospitalisations.
Subject to a final review of the data next week, legal restrictions will end on Monday, July 19 – which is being described as 'Freedom Day'.
Limits on social contact will end, meaning there will be no restrictions on indoor or outdoor gatherings. Weddings, funerals and other life events will also be able to take place without limits or restrictions, with nightclubs also allowed to open.
But what restrictions and guidance will still remain?
Mr Johnson said the red list of nations from where isolation in quarantine hotels is necessary will remain in force.
But he aims to remove the need for fully-vaccinated arrivals to isolate at home when returning from amber nations.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will set out more details for double-jabbed travellers later this week.
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The “one metre plus” rule on social distancing will be lifted, with guidance remaining in just two specific circumstances: when self-isolating after a positive test and in airports to prevent mixing between people arriving from high-risk countries.
This will allow the full reopening of venues such as theatres, cinemas and sporting stadiums and end the capacity caps on bars and restaurants.
Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 or is identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace will still have a legal requirement to isolate for 10 days.
However, from August 16 rules on self-isolation are being eased for the fully vaccinated and under-18s, Sajid Javid has announced.
People in those categories who have come into contact with a coronavirus case will not need to shut themselves away for the 10-day isolation period once the change comes into force.
Anyone who tests positive will have to self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status.
Mr Javid said: “Step by step, jab by jab, we are replacing the temporary protection of the restrictions with the long-term protection of the vaccine so we can restore the freedoms which we cherish and the experiences which mean so much for us all.”
Face masks/coverings will no longer be mandatory, in a move which has been criticised by many.
However, they will still be advised in a number of crowded enclosed public spaces, such as hospitals and healthcare settings.
Mr Johnson urged people to “exercise their personal responsibility but to remember the value of face coverings both in protecting themselves and others”.
There are also questions about whether individual organisations will continue to enforce mask wearing.
Ryanair said on Monday that masks would still be mandatory on all its flights from July 19 onwards.