Face masks and social distancing laws in England 'to be scrapped on July 19'

23 June 2021, 10:45

Rules on social distancing will reportedly be lifted next month
Rules on social distancing will reportedly be lifted next month. Picture: PA
Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

A report has suggested that laws on face masks and social distancing will be replaced by 'personal responsibility' advice in the fourth stage of lockdown-easing.

Face masks and social distancing laws could be scrapped on July 19 when England moves into stage four of lockdown-easing, a new report has claimed.

According to The Times, Ministers are encouraged by the 'very, very' low number of deaths from Covid and apparently slowdown in infections.

The report adds that rules on working from home, as well as face masks and social distancing, will also be scrapped on July 19.

Face masks are currently mandatory in places like tubes and supermarkets
Face masks are currently mandatory in places like tubes and supermarkets. Picture: PA

A senior government source said that ministers want to "get as close to normal as possible" on that date and that the emphasis will be on "personal responsibility" rather than laws.

Boris Johnson announced earlier this month that the June 21 'freedom day' date would be pushed back to July 19, but it had been thought that some measures - including those outlined above - would stay in place.

The fourth stage will also see legal limits on social contact lifted, and the reopening of nightclubs and large events.

England is due to enter its fourth stage of lockdown-easing next month
England is due to enter its fourth stage of lockdown-easing next month. Picture: PA

During a recent trip to a Hertfordshire lab, the Prime Minister hailed science as the "great liberator" paving a path back to freedom.

When quizzed about the potential for future lockdowns, he said: "You can never exclude that there will be some new disease, some new horror that we simply haven't budgeted for, or accounted for.

"But looking at where we are, looking at the efficacy of the vaccines against all variants that we can currently see - so Alpha, Delta, the lot of them, Kappa - I think it's looking good for July 19 to be that terminus point."