Today (July 5) Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that Covid restriction rules are set to be officially lifted from July 19th – otherwise dubbed as ‘Freedom Day’. This comes after the initial date of June 21 fell through amidst efforts to contain the spread of the delta variant last month.
The update will see an end to the wave of legal requirements we have become so accustomed to in everyday life over the past year, since the initial lockdown commenced in March 2020. Restrictions to be lifted include the obligation to wear face masks indoors, number limits within social gatherings and the ban on nightclubs. Social distancing rules are also set to be completely abolished. Despite this legal freedom, the public are still being urged by the government to maintain ‘common sense’ in going about their daily lives, leaving safety precautions up to public ‘judgement’.
Permission has also been granted to transport operators and shop owners to produce personal policies and determine their own guidelines.
Alongside the release of distancing restrictions in social contexts, restrictions are also due to lift in the workplace, where there will no longer be an obligation to work from home. Again, individual firms will be granted the power to decide their own distancing restrictions between workers. The government has confirmed there will also no longer be limitations on attending large social gatherings, such as weddings and funerals.
However, existing social distancing rules with remain in place for people requiring isolation after contracting the Covid-19 virus, in order to minimise the threat of transmission to those around them.
Travel restrictions still remain uncertain and are being continuously reassessed, however travel across Europe is still restricted and varies on a case-by-case basis. Despite having green list status, Malta and Spain will still be refusing British travellers who are not fully inoculated, with Portugal requesting the same unless travellers can prove they have received their second dose a fortnight prior to their visit.