Will restrictions be lifted on 19 July? If Covid lockdown in England could be extended beyond ‘Freedom Day’
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Plans for all Covid restrictions to be lifted in England are set to go ahead on 19 July, but will lockdown rules definitely end on this date - and could ‘Freedom Day’ be postponed?
Here’s what you need to know.
Will Covid restrictions be lifted on 19 July?
The planned easing on 21 June was delayed amid concern over the spread of the Delta variant.
Currently, plans to lift Covid restrictions in England look set to go ahead on 19 July.
The Prime Minister said earlier this week that people in England are "very likely" to be able to return to "pretty much life before Covid" on 19 July.
Speaking on Monday (28 June), Mr Johnson said: "Although there are some encouraging signs and the number of deaths remains low and the number of hospitalisations remains low - though both are going up a bit - we are seeing an increase in cases.
"So we think it's sensible to stick to our plan to have a cautious but irreversible approach, use the next three weeks or so really to complete as much as we can of that vaccine rollout.
"And then with every day that goes by it's clearer to me and all our scientific advisers that we're very likely to be in a position on 19 July to say that really is the terminus, and we can go back to life as it was before Covid as far as possible."
Could lockdown be extended beyond ‘Freedom Day’?
The date that Covid restrictions are set to be lifted - 19 July - has been dubbed as ‘Freedom Day’, as all limits on social contact are set to be dropped from this date.
‘Freedom day’ is currently set to go ahead as planned without delays to the ending of Covid restrictions.
The new Health Secretary Sajid David also said earlier this week that he wants all restrictions to be lifted as soon as possible.
Mr Javid became the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care following Matt Hancock's resignation after he breached social distancing guidance by kissing a colleague.
Mr Javid said: "I want to see the restrictions lifted and life going back to normal as quickly as possible. That is my absolute priority. I want to see those restrictions lifted as soon as we can.
"It's going to be irreversible, there's no going back. That's why we want to be careful during that process."