From Monday, nearly all remaining restrictions on public life in England would be lifted at a time when coronavirus infections are high and rising.
There will be no more limits on indoor gathering. Nightclubs can reopen, the 1-meter social distancing rule is removed and face masks become largely voluntary, although some airlines and transport companies have said they will retain mask-wearing requirements.
In essence, the majority of legal restrictions have now been lifted and replaced with an emphasis on personal responsibility as infections continue to rise.
There was no mention of “Freedom Day,” as Monday July 19 had previously been dubbed, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged caution as the country moved to “Step 4″ of its roadmap of restriction-lifting.
“Please, please, please be cautious. Go forward tomorrow into the next step with all the right prudence and respect for other people and the risks that the disease continues to present,” Johnson said in a statement released by Downing Street Sunday night.
The lifting of restrictions had already been moved from June 21 to allow for more vaccinations to take place amid a surge in cases caused by the spread of the highly infectious delta variant. (NNT)