SUBSCRIBE

CATEGORIES

Return to normal? UK PM Johnson outlines end to England’s virus restrictions

imageWorld15 minutes ago (Jul 05, 2021 12:36PM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People wear protective masks as they walk through the city centre, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manchester, Britain, June 21, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble

By Alistair Smout and William James

LONDON (Reuters) -British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday set out his plans to end social and economic COVID-19 restrictions in England in two weeks, in a test of whether a rapid vaccine rollout offers enough protection from the highly contagious Delta variant.

Johnson confirmed the government aimed to end restrictive measures on July 19, with a final decision to be taken next week. He said the step would eliminate formal limits on social contact, the instruction to work from home, and mandates to wear face masks.

After imposing the most onerous constraints on behaviour in Britain’s peacetime history to battle the novel coronavirus, Johnson is betting the vaccination programme, which has weakened the link between infections and hospital admissions, can prevent the health service being overwhelmed by a new coronavirus wave.

Under plans, nightclubs will be allowed to reopen and there will be no limits on capacity of hospitality venues. Social distancing guidelines will be scrapped.

“We must be honest with ourselves that if we can’t reopen our society in the next few weeks when we will be helped by the arrival of summer and by the school holidays, then we must ask ourselves when will we be able to return to normal?” Johnson said at a news conference.

“We will move away from legal restrictions and allow people to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus,” Johnson said.

Johnson sets health policy for England, but not for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Britain has suffered the seventh highest global death toll from COVID-19, and Johnson has been accused of being too slow to implement each of England’s three lockdowns.

But the take-up of vaccines in Britain has been strong, with 86% of adults receiving a first dose and 64% receiving two doses as of Monday, according to government data.

Johnson also said that people under 40 would be invited for their second COVID shots from 8 weeks after their first dose, rather than 12 weeks, bringing it into line with the policy for over-40s.

Public Health England figures indicate that the vaccines are highly effective in preventing the Delta variant leading to severe illness or hospital admission.

Return to normal? UK PM Johnson outlines end to England’s virus restrictions

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.