UK citizens celebrate "Freedom Day" on the 19th of July
England will lift most of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions on July 19 in what has been dubbed "Freedom Day." The end of compulsory social distancing and mask-wearing has been announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a special press conference.
As of July 6th, the lockdown easing seems to be proceeding as planned. The British PM mentioned that "extra precautions" may still be in place, but otherwise, most rules are expected to end. Many members of Parliament have been outspoken about their faith in restrictions easing, such as Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, who told interviewers that he would "get rid" of his mask.
What can we expect?
As previously announced, we will see all restrictions on social contact removed, meaning you can have any number of people indoors or outdoors from several households.
Venues that were forced to remain closed will reopen. Restrictions in currently opened venues are also likely to be removed.
However, it seems possible that masks will still be required on public transport and other high-risk areas. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been pushing for this, although it is uncertain if the Prime Minister will follow suit. He has a point, as while COVID-19 deaths have dropped significantly, infection rates are on the rise.
Travel after July 19th
British travellers who have had two COVID-19 vaccinations could be allowed re-entry into the UK without quarantine. As the government grapples with allowing more trips abroad while trying to prevent the importation of new variants, changes are being considered to the "traffic light system."
Under the current system, countries are graded according to their COVID-19 infection and vaccination rate, determining how people coming from them must isolate. This procedure will continue even after "Freedom Day."