July 19 is planned to mark “freedom day”.
Boris Johnson has laid out the plan to move into stage four of the government’s roadmap, should freedom day go ahead on July 19. Responding to concerns voiced by some leading scientists, Johnson called for a “balance” between rising cases and the toll restrictions take on people’s livelihood.
The country will therefore see a number of changes in two week’s time, and the country will look very different from the way it has looked since the beginning of the pandemic. Boris Johnson stressed that the final decision will be made next week.
Work from home guidance is set to go on the long-awaited freedom day, as will the one-metre rule, which replaced the two-metre rule several months ago. There will also be other changes. For example, people will once again be allowed to order at the bar, which is likely to change the atmosphere in bars, restaurants and pubs dramatically. Legal limits will be removed indoors and out, meaning nightclubs can reopen for business should England move into stage four of the roadmap.
Masks will no longer be required and the rule of six will come to an end, meaning that families and friends will once again be able to eat together, in larger groups. Capacity limits in places like theatres, museums and cinemas will also be done away with under the new rules. Wearing masks, however, will be encouraged in certain situations, like when case numbers are high or when taking public transport.
Vaccine intervals will be shortened, meaning everyone over-18 should be fully vaccinated by September. The government outlined that the link between cases and hospitalisations has been weakened, but not broken, by the vaccine rollout. Venues, such as nightclubs, will not be required to ask for proof of vaccines or a negative test to enter, but they will still be able to take advantage of the vaccine proof on the NHS app if they wish.
Travelling is being worked towards being expanded, with the hope being that fully-vaccinated travellers won’t have to self-isolate upon returning from abroad. Test and trace will also remain, meaning it will still be a requirement to isolate if you are told to. However, the rules are expected to change for those who have been fully vaccinated, and for children.
Emphasis will remain on strength and guidance beyond “freedom day”, should it go ahead. Freedom Day was initially paused from June 21, due to concerns over the Delta variant of Covid-19.