Despite 50,000 daily cases, almost all Covid-19 restrictions in the UK were lifted

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The government of the United Kingdom (UK) has lifted almost ALL Covid-19 restrictions today (19 July), even though the decision has been slammed by scientists and opposition parties. Some media referred to this day as “freedom day”.

According to NDTV, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is in self-isolation after coming into close contact with the health minister who tested positive for Covid-19, urged the public to remain vigilant and to get vaccinated.

Currently, about two-thirds of adults have received two doses of the vaccine in the UK.

“Go forward tomorrow into the next step with all the right prudence and respect for other people, for the risks that the disease continues to present and, above all, please please please when you’re asked to get that second jab… please come forward and do it.”

Despite daily Covid-19 cases in the UK topping 50,000, citizens will not need to wear a mask or practise social distancing. Gatherings will be allowed with no limits on the number of people attending the event.

“If we don’t do it now, then we’ll be opening up in the autumn, the winter months when the virus has the advantage of the cold weather,” Johnson said.

“If we don’t do it now, we’ve got to ask ourselves, when will we ever do it? So this is the right moment, but we’ve got to do it cautiously.”

Social distancing

  • No limits on how many people can meet
  • One-metre physical distance rule removed (except in some places like hospitals and passport control when entering)
  • Face coverings are no longer required by law, although the government still “expects and recommends” them in crowded and enclosed spaces
    Some shops and transport operators will still require masks

Events and gatherings

  • Nightclubs can reopen
  • Pubs and restaurants no longer table-service only
  • No limits on guests at weddings and funerals
  • No limits on people attending concerts, theatres or sports events
  • No restrictions on communal worship

Travel

  • Guidance recommending against travel to amber list countries removed. (Those returning from France to England, Wales and Scotland must still quarantine for 10 days)
  • Individuals under 18 years old and fully vaccinated adults no longer have to self-isolate after visiting amber list countries

Other changes

  • Limits on visitors to care homes will be removed.
  • From 16 August, most Covid-19 restrictions in schools – including “bubbles” – will end.

From the same date, fully vaccinated adults will not need to self-isolate after contact with a positive case.

Meanwhile, people should continue to meet others outside where possible and businesses like nightclubs and large events will be encouraged to use the NHS Covid Pass to check if people are fully vaccinated. However, it is not illegal if they do not do so. – Adapted from World of Buzz

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