'The time has come' - Joy as PM outlines plans for Freedom Day

Suffolk MPs and nightclub owners are calling for the lockdown restrictions to be eased from July 19 

Suffolk MPs and nightclub owners are calling for the lockdown restrictions to be eased from July 19 - Credit: Office of James Cartlidge/Archant

Suffolk MPs have said "the time has come" to end all Covid restrictions after prime minister Boris Johnson revealed his hopes to unlock the country on July 19.

Mr Johnson told a government briefing on Monday that the link between Covid cases and deaths had been "weakened" due to the success of the vaccine rollout.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (Covi

Boris Johnson - Credit: PA

While a final decision will be made next week, he outlined his hope that all legal pandemic measures would be lifted on 'Freedom Day' later this month.

Wearing face masks would be optional and social distancing would be scrapped if the lockdown is lifted entirely.

Speaking ahead of the announcement, James Cartlidge, MP for South Suffolk, said he hoped the statement would "set out clearly how we are going to end all restrictions as far as possible".

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He added: "The policy is to end legal restrictions from July 19 and that is what I would like to see happen."

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said: “Whilst we must remain vigilant about the risk of variants, the vaccines appear to have largely broken the link between infection and people becoming very unwell and dying from Covid. 

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"So, the time has come to roll back the restrictions further and we need to see a return to normal life for the summer months.”

Thérèse Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, said: "I’m firmly of the opinion that after July 19, mask wearing should be an informed personal choice.

"I know Suffolk people tend to be sensitive to their neighbours and communities, so may wish to continue wearing one in certain situations - but it shouldn’t be mandatory.

"The vaccine programme is working and this is an important step on the roadmap to recovery and restoring freedoms.”

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