What date will lockdown lift in England and what will the new rules be?
5 July 2021, 15:12
Will lockdown end on July 19 and what rules will change on 'Freedom Day'? Here's what we know...
Later today (Monday July 5), Boris Johnson is expected to announce that lockdown in England will ease in two week's time.
'Freedom Day' was originally due on June 21, but it was pushed back because of concern about the Delta variant in the UK.
The fourth and final stage of lockdown-easing will see all legal limits on social contact removed, meaning the return of unlimited indoor and outdoor mixing and large events.
Here's what we know about what date it might happen, and what the rules will be.
- Will nightclubs reopen on July 19?
- Will social distancing end on July 19?
- Will the rules on face masks end on July 19?
What date will lockdown end?
Lockdown in England is due to end on July 19, with Boris Johnson expected to confirm this date will go ahead later today.
Speaking at a press conference from Downing Street last month, the Prime Minister said that the planned June 21 date would be delayed following a spike in coronavirus cases in the country due to the Delta variant.
He said that delaying the date by four weeks would 'give the NHS a few more crucial weeks to get those remaining jabs into the arms of those who need them'.
The decision to delay the date came after a number of calls from scientists to do so due to increasing concern over the Delta variant (first discovered in India), which is thought to be around 60 per cent more transmissible.
Health Minister Edward Argar said in an interview that the delay was used for "getting second doses of vaccines into people’s arms", as two vaccines give the best protection against the Delta variant.
What will the new rules be from July 19?
The fourth stage of lockdown will see all legal limits on social contact removed, meaning that nightclubs and large events can return.
Funerals and weddings may also be able to take place without social distancing guidelines, and people will be able to mix with an unlimited number of people both indoors and outdoors.
People visiting pubs will also be able to order at the bar again, and won't need to scan QR codes.
The school bubbles system will also likely be scrapped, with coronavirus testing used instead.
It is also thought that fully vaccinated people won't need to quarantine after returning from amber list countries or if they come into contact with someone with coronavirus.
On the subject of face masks, there had been some confusion over whether they will still be required.
However, it is thought that it will be up to the individual to decide if they wear them on places like public transport and shops, where they are currently mandatory.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News on Sunday: "I think we are going to now move into a period where there won’t be legal restrictions.
"The state won’t be telling you what to do, but you will want to exercise a degree of personal responsibility and judgment - different people will come to different conclusions on things like masks, for example."