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PM Boris Johnson will reveal a lockdown-lifting plan in England

PM Boris Johnson will reveal a lockdown-lifting plan in England

July 6, 2021: On Monday, Boris Johnson is set to reveal the final steps in lifting England’s lockdown rules.

New guidelines on the 1-meter social distancing rule, face coverings, care home visits, and working from home will be announced, the government said Sunday. One government minister told the BBC that some rules, like mask-wearing, would become a matter of personal choice when restrictions were eased.

Johnson is expected to reiterate that Covid will become “a virus that we learn to live with as we already do with flu,” Downing Street said in a statement released Sunday night.

The tests include looking at data to confirm that the vaccine rollout is continuing successfully and that infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalizations. These will be assessed on July 12, the government said, following a review of the latest data.

The lifting of restrictions in England had previously been slated for June 21 but was delayed as the highly transmissible delta variant spread throughout the U.K.

While infection rates have risen, hospitalizations and deaths have not surged, indicating that coronavirus vaccines are working to prevent severe infections.

The British government has previously signaled a reluctance to keep restrictions in place any longer than is strictly necessary. Despite some concerns among medical experts and opposition politicians, conditions could be lifted too soon as the variant spreads in the U.K., Europe, and beyond.

In comments released Sunday, Johnson acknowledged that “the pandemic is not over and that cases will continue to rise over the coming weeks.”

“We must all continue to carefully manage the risks from Covid and exercise judgment when going about our lives,” he said, adding that “thanks to the successful rollout of our vaccination program, we are progressing cautiously through our roadmap (to lifting lockdown). Today we will set out how we can restore people’s freedoms.”

Britain’s Covid immunization program has been one of the fastest globally, with 86% of the adult population now receiving the first dose of a vaccine and 63.8% having received two doses, government data shows.

The prime minister will announce the details of the lifting of lockdown rules in England in a press conference Monday afternoon, slated to start around 5 p.m. Health Secretary Sajid Javid will present the plans to Parliament at the same time.

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