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Boris announcement Lockdown lifting What time is Boris Johnson announcement and

Boris announcement Lockdown lifting What time is Boris Johnson  announcement and
boris johnson announcement


Recap: PM makes 'Freedom Day' announcement to the nation Mon, 05 Jul 2021 17:00:00 +0100-Prime minister to provide an update on 19 July changes to rules at press conference today.

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Boris Johnson confirms 19 July end to face masks as Whitty warns of ‘difficult’ winter – follow live

July 05, 2021

Boris Johnson confirms 19 July end to face masks and social distancing

Boris Johnson has confirmed that social distancing will be scrapped in England from 19 July as people will be asked to use their own judgement to manage the risk of Covid-19.

The prime minister told a Downing Street press conference on Monday that the restrictions would end despite concerns from scientists that the government is moving too fast.

He said: “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?”

Mr Johnson warned that a further delay would “run the risk of either opening up at a very difficult time when the virus has an edge” or “putting everything off to next year”.

However chief medical adviser Chris Whitty warned the NHS could face a ‘very difficult’ winter, after it emerged that Covid cases were set to increase to 50,000 a day over the next two weeks.

It came after London mayor Sadiq Khan called for masks to remain mandatory on public transport and argued that this would be the “simplest and safest” policy over the coming weeks. A new YouGov poll also found most British adults think mask rules should be kept for longer after other restrictions are lifted.

Earlier on Monday care minister Helen Whately declined to say that Covid-19 was “under control” but argued that the government did not expect rising case rates to lead to a significant increase in hospitalisations due to the success of vaccines.

1625507146

Bosses at John Lewis and Waitrose have confirmed they will introduce flexible working for staff at the company’s head offices after 19 July.

Andrew Murphy, executive director of operations for the John Lewis Partnership, told the PA news agency: “If restrictions are lifted on July 19 we won’t tell our head office partners where to work. The pandemic has forced us all to rethink the norm of five days in an office.

“We will continue to support and enable our partners as they figure out how and where they work best for the type of work they do.

“I don’t believe anyone can make confident assertions about how this will play out in future years.”

The requirement that employees should work from home when possible will end under Step 4 of the government’s lockdown easing roadmap.

Several other companies have already announced plans for flexible working, including Asda, Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC banks, as well as call centre operator Capita and British Gas owner Centrica.

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 18:45
1625506885

The Indy’s political sketch writer Tom Peck urges us all to remember the moment that Boris Johnson announced that freedom is coming home on 19 July.

“On a strictly factual basis, what you saw was a fat-tongued chancer in a suit that didn’t fit, refusing yet again to fulfil the most basic function of his office, which is to seek to keep his people alive, but don’t get too bogged down in that for now. Just focus on the freedom.”

This is the kind of freedom you really only get once in many generations. It is the freedom that comes when a prime minister just absolutely, 100 per cent cannot be bothered with any of it anymore

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 18:41
1625505670

Boris Johnson also confirmed that the quarantine requirement will be scrapped for fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK from an amber list country.

In a briefing from Number 10, the prime minister said the government is working with the travel industry to soften measures for double-jabbed arrivals – although red list restrictions would remain in place.

He said: “We will maintain our tough border controls including the red list, and recognising the protection afforded by two doses of vaccine, we will work with the travel industry towards removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals to isolate on return from an amber country.”

‘We will work with the travel industry towards removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals to isolate on return,’ says prime minister

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 18:21
1625505387

Testing will end the need for schools to send entire class bubbles home, the prime minister said.

Boris Johnson told the Downing Street press conference: “The Secretary of State for Education will be announcing later this week how we will move away from sending bubbles home and move away from contact isolation for pupils so as to greatly reduce the impact on schools of Covid outbreaks.

“And obviously the way forward is with testing rather than by sending the bubbles home.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, welcomed the announcement.

He said:“We are pleased that the prime minister has confirmed that the government’s current set of rules over Covid management in schools and colleges will change as part of the easing of restrictions under step 4 of the roadmap.

“The current requirement for close contacts of positive cases to be traced and asked to self-isolate is resulting in significant educational disruption on top of the disruption that children and young people have already experienced over the past 15 months.

“Given the rollout of the vaccine programme to the adult population it is no longer acceptable that children and young people should continue to pay such a heavy price in managing transmission of the virus.

“We look forward to the education secretary’s statement tomorrow about exactly how the rules for schools and colleges will change. We will be studying these plans in detail to ensure that there is absolute clarity, to raise any concerns from our members, and to ensure that any practical implications for schools and colleges are ironed out as soon as possible.”

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 18:16
1625504604

Professor Chris Whitty warned that the winter “may be very difficult” for the NHS.

England’s chief medical officer told the Downing Street press conference: “The winter is inevitably going to be tricky and this winter the NHS is likely to have both Covid and some resurgence of other respiratory viruses that were suppressed by the degree of lockdown last time round.

“So I think we should be realistic and this coming winter may be very difficult for the NHS.”

Chris Whitty says winter could be ‘very difficult’ for NHS
Peter Stubley5 July 2021 18:03
1625504488

The head of the trade body for the leisure and hospitality sector has said businesses will be “celebrating” the latest announcement on the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “The prime minister’s announcement marks a major milestone in how England will come to live with Covid and will be celebrated by hospitality business owners and their staff across the country.

“For the vast majority of hospitality businesses, July 19 – if confirmed next week – will be the first time in 16 months that they have been able to realistically look to break even and move towards profitability.”

Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “We have been encouraged by much of what the prime minister said today about what government restrictions will look like in the next phase of reopening.

“The end of social distancing; the end of the rule of six and table service for indoor mixing; no ban on mass events; the removal of the need to scan a QR code to enter venues; and the decision not to introduce Covid status certification – these are all very important steps that we have been campaigning for, because they are the restrictions which have decimated the night-time economy over the last 16 months.

“We were disappointed again, despite the positive noises, that the prime minister did not confirm that reopening would be going ahead on 19 July. As we commented at the time of the last decision on restrictions, one week is simply not enough time for businesses to plan to reopen – and it betrays the sense that the government doesn’t understand what it takes to reopen businesses after over a year without trading.”

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 18:01
1625504103

Over in the House of Commons, Conservative MPs shouted “hallelujah” as Sajid Javid revealed that mask-wearing and social contact restrictions would be lifted on 19 July.

The health secretary told MPs it would be the “biggest step of all, a restoration of so many of the freedoms that make this country great”.

He added: “Case numbers are high and they will go higher and they will go significantly higher and we need to be ready for that.

“But what is far more important is how many people are ending up in hospital and how many, sadly, are dying and that is where the vaccines have worked alongside the treatments that we now have that we didn’t have a year or so ago.

“It has meant that the link between cases and deaths has been severely weakened.”

Mr Javid continued: “There’s no absolutely risk-free way to move forward but we do need to start returning things back towards normal and learning to live with Covid.”

Tory MP shouts ‘hallelujah’ as Sajid Javid announces end to social distancing.mp4
Peter Stubley5 July 2021 17:55
1625503720

Sports venues in England are set to return to full capacity from 19 July after the government announced plans to ease the remaining restrictions on social distancing.

Crowds have either been kept out entirely or allowed in severely restricted numbers since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the UK in March last year. Test events with higher attendances have been held as part of a government programme since April.

Crowds have either been kept out entirely or allowed in severely restricted numbers since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 17:48
1625503551

England’s match against Denmark on Wednesday will be watched by 60,000 fans inside Wembley.

Is it safe? Joe Sommerlad looks at the evidence:

England to face Denmark in Wembley semi-final on Wednesday with 60,000 fans in attendance but is a crowd that large too risky with Delta variant cases on the rise?

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 17:45
1625503404

Boris Johnson urged England fans to be “sensible” while watching the Euro 2020 matches – which will take place before restrictions are lifted on 19 July.

“Obviously support England enthusiastically – but in a responsible way,” he told the Downing Street briefing.

Chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance sought to downplay the risk of a “super-spreading event” at Wembley this week by saying outdoor spaces such as football stadiums were safer than indoor spaces.

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 17:43
Boris Johnson confirms 19 July end to face masks and social distancing

Boris Johnson has confirmed that social distancing will be scrapped in England from 19 July as people will be asked to use their own judgement to manage the risk of Covid-19.

The prime minister told a Downing Street press conference on Monday that the restrictions would end despite concerns from scientists that the government is moving too fast.

He said: “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?”

Mr Johnson warned that a further delay would “run the risk of either opening up at a very difficult time when the virus has an edge” or “putting everything off to next year”.

However chief medical adviser Chris Whitty warned the NHS could face a ‘very difficult’ winter, after it emerged that Covid cases were set to increase to 50,000 a day over the next two weeks.

It came after London mayor Sadiq Khan called for masks to remain mandatory on public transport and argued that this would be the “simplest and safest” policy over the coming weeks. A new YouGov poll also found most British adults think mask rules should be kept for longer after other restrictions are lifted.

Earlier on Monday care minister Helen Whately declined to say that Covid-19 was “under control” but argued that the government did not expect rising case rates to lead to a significant increase in hospitalisations due to the success of vaccines.

1625507146

Bosses at John Lewis and Waitrose have confirmed they will introduce flexible working for staff at the company’s head offices after 19 July.

Andrew Murphy, executive director of operations for the John Lewis Partnership, told the PA news agency: “If restrictions are lifted on July 19 we won’t tell our head office partners where to work. The pandemic has forced us all to rethink the norm of five days in an office.

“We will continue to support and enable our partners as they figure out how and where they work best for the type of work they do.

“I don’t believe anyone can make confident assertions about how this will play out in future years.”

The requirement that employees should work from home when possible will end under Step 4 of the government’s lockdown easing roadmap.

Several other companies have already announced plans for flexible working, including Asda, Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC banks, as well as call centre operator Capita and British Gas owner Centrica.

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 18:45
1625506885

The Indy’s political sketch writer Tom Peck urges us all to remember the moment that Boris Johnson announced that freedom is coming home on 19 July.

“On a strictly factual basis, what you saw was a fat-tongued chancer in a suit that didn’t fit, refusing yet again to fulfil the most basic function of his office, which is to seek to keep his people alive, but don’t get too bogged down in that for now. Just focus on the freedom.”

This is the kind of freedom you really only get once in many generations. It is the freedom that comes when a prime minister just absolutely, 100 per cent cannot be bothered with any of it anymore

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 18:41
1625505670

Boris Johnson also confirmed that the quarantine requirement will be scrapped for fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK from an amber list country.

In a briefing from Number 10, the prime minister said the government is working with the travel industry to soften measures for double-jabbed arrivals – although red list restrictions would remain in place.

He said: “We will maintain our tough border controls including the red list, and recognising the protection afforded by two doses of vaccine, we will work with the travel industry towards removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals to isolate on return from an amber country.”

‘We will work with the travel industry towards removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals to isolate on return,’ says prime minister

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 18:21
1625505387

Testing will end the need for schools to send entire class bubbles home, the prime minister said.

Boris Johnson told the Downing Street press conference: “The Secretary of State for Education will be announcing later this week how we will move away from sending bubbles home and move away from contact isolation for pupils so as to greatly reduce the impact on schools of Covid outbreaks.

“And obviously the way forward is with testing rather than by sending the bubbles home.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, welcomed the announcement.

He said:“We are pleased that the prime minister has confirmed that the government’s current set of rules over Covid management in schools and colleges will change as part of the easing of restrictions under step 4 of the roadmap.

“The current requirement for close contacts of positive cases to be traced and asked to self-isolate is resulting in significant educational disruption on top of the disruption that children and young people have already experienced over the past 15 months.

“Given the rollout of the vaccine programme to the adult population it is no longer acceptable that children and young people should continue to pay such a heavy price in managing transmission of the virus.

“We look forward to the education secretary’s statement tomorrow about exactly how the rules for schools and colleges will change. We will be studying these plans in detail to ensure that there is absolute clarity, to raise any concerns from our members, and to ensure that any practical implications for schools and colleges are ironed out as soon as possible.”

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 18:16
1625504604

Professor Chris Whitty warned that the winter “may be very difficult” for the NHS.

England’s chief medical officer told the Downing Street press conference: “The winter is inevitably going to be tricky and this winter the NHS is likely to have both Covid and some resurgence of other respiratory viruses that were suppressed by the degree of lockdown last time round.

“So I think we should be realistic and this coming winter may be very difficult for the NHS.”

Chris Whitty says winter could be ‘very difficult’ for NHS
Peter Stubley5 July 2021 18:03
1625504488

The head of the trade body for the leisure and hospitality sector has said businesses will be “celebrating” the latest announcement on the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “The prime minister’s announcement marks a major milestone in how England will come to live with Covid and will be celebrated by hospitality business owners and their staff across the country.

“For the vast majority of hospitality businesses, July 19 – if confirmed next week – will be the first time in 16 months that they have been able to realistically look to break even and move towards profitability.”

Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “We have been encouraged by much of what the prime minister said today about what government restrictions will look like in the next phase of reopening.

“The end of social distancing; the end of the rule of six and table service for indoor mixing; no ban on mass events; the removal of the need to scan a QR code to enter venues; and the decision not to introduce Covid status certification – these are all very important steps that we have been campaigning for, because they are the restrictions which have decimated the night-time economy over the last 16 months.

“We were disappointed again, despite the positive noises, that the prime minister did not confirm that reopening would be going ahead on 19 July. As we commented at the time of the last decision on restrictions, one week is simply not enough time for businesses to plan to reopen – and it betrays the sense that the government doesn’t understand what it takes to reopen businesses after over a year without trading.”

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 18:01
1625504103

Over in the House of Commons, Conservative MPs shouted “hallelujah” as Sajid Javid revealed that mask-wearing and social contact restrictions would be lifted on 19 July.

The health secretary told MPs it would be the “biggest step of all, a restoration of so many of the freedoms that make this country great”.

He added: “Case numbers are high and they will go higher and they will go significantly higher and we need to be ready for that.

“But what is far more important is how many people are ending up in hospital and how many, sadly, are dying and that is where the vaccines have worked alongside the treatments that we now have that we didn’t have a year or so ago.

“It has meant that the link between cases and deaths has been severely weakened.”

Mr Javid continued: “There’s no absolutely risk-free way to move forward but we do need to start returning things back towards normal and learning to live with Covid.”

Tory MP shouts ‘hallelujah’ as Sajid Javid announces end to social distancing.mp4
Peter Stubley5 July 2021 17:55
1625503720

Sports venues in England are set to return to full capacity from 19 July after the government announced plans to ease the remaining restrictions on social distancing.

Crowds have either been kept out entirely or allowed in severely restricted numbers since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the UK in March last year. Test events with higher attendances have been held as part of a government programme since April.

Crowds have either been kept out entirely or allowed in severely restricted numbers since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 17:48
1625503551

England’s match against Denmark on Wednesday will be watched by 60,000 fans inside Wembley.

Is it safe? Joe Sommerlad looks at the evidence:

England to face Denmark in Wembley semi-final on Wednesday with 60,000 fans in attendance but is a crowd that large too risky with Delta variant cases on the rise?

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 17:45
1625503404

Boris Johnson urged England fans to be “sensible” while watching the Euro 2020 matches – which will take place before restrictions are lifted on 19 July.

“Obviously support England enthusiastically – but in a responsible way,” he told the Downing Street briefing.

Chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance sought to downplay the risk of a “super-spreading event” at Wembley this week by saying outdoor spaces such as football stadiums were safer than indoor spaces.

Peter Stubley5 July 2021 17:43


... read more

Lockdown lifting: What time is Boris Johnson's announcement and … Mon, 05 Jul 2021 17:00:00 +0100-The Prime Minister has gambled on trusting the public's judgment and the protection offered by vaccines as he scrapped mandatory mask-wearing and lifted social …

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Recap: PM makes ‘Freedom Day’ announcement to the nation

July 05, 2021

Boris Johnson has promised to tear up England’s coronavirus regulations at the next stage of the road map.

The Prime Minister has gambled on trusting the public’s judgment and the protection offered by vaccines as he scrapped mandatory mask-wearing and lifted social distancing requirements.

The so-called “freedom day” is expected on July 19, with a decision on whether or not to go ahead being taken a week earlier.

Officials acknowledged that Covid-19 cases and deaths would continue to increase – albeit at a much lower level than before the vaccination programme – but it was now necessary to find a new way to live with the virus.

At a Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson acknowledged the pandemic was “far from over” with cases rising “fairly rapidly”.

“There could be 50,000 cases detected per day by the 19th,” he said.

“We are seeing rising hospital admissions and we must reconcile ourselves, sadly, to more deaths from Covid.

“In these circumstances we must take a careful and a balanced decision – and there’s only one reason why we contemplate going ahead to Step 4 in circumstances where we would normally be locking down further and that’s because of the continuing effectiveness of the vaccine rollout.”

He added: “We have to balance the risks. The risks of the disease which the vaccines have reduced but very far from eliminated and the risks of continuing with legally-enforced restrictions that inevitably take their toll on people’s lives and livelihoods, on people’s health and mental health.

“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?”

You can follow the PM's address as it happened below.

17:59Daniel Smith

Bosses at John Lewis and Waitrose have confirmed they will introduce flexible working for their staff at head office, following the latest announcement of restrictions easing by the Government.

Andrew Murphy, executive director of operations for the John Lewis Partnership, told the PA news agency: “If restrictions are lifted on July 19 we won’t tell our head office partners where to work. The pandemic has forced us all to rethink the norm of five days in an office.

“We will continue to support and enable our partners as they figure out how and where they work best for the type of work they do. I don’t believe anyone can make confident assertions about how this will play out in future years.”

17:57Daniel Smith

The PM was quite adamant that we've not seen the back of Covid.

He hinted that – despite the huge vaccine effort – we could be in for a tough autumn and winter.

Will the lockdown ever come back? This is quite murky, as we don't know if another variant will start spreading.

The Government will continue to monitor the data but the aim is to try to avoid further lockdowns, according to Mr Johnson.

'We will place an emphasis on strengthened guidance and do everything possible to avoid reimposing restrictions with all the costs that they bring”.

17:53Daniel Smith

A “proportionate” test, trace and isolate system will be retained at step four meaning people with Covid symptoms should continue to get a test.

Free asymptomatic testing – include lateral flow tests that you can order to your home – will be extended to September 30.

Contact tracing will also stay, and it will remain a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive, or are asked to do so by Test and Trace.

17:53Daniel Smith

There will be no legal requirements on Covid status certification- or vaccine passport – as a condition of entry for any setting.

However, businesses will be able to voluntarily adopt certification if they want to and the NHS app will facilitate this.

17:53Daniel Smith

The five-person limit on each resident’s number of “named visitors” will be lifted, with any number of visitors allowed.

However, there may still be a limit on the number of visitors a resident can receive in one day and infection control measures such as PPE and enhanced cleaning, will remain in place.

17:53Daniel Smith

Legal requirements on hospitality businesses will be revoked, such as restrictions on seated eating and drinking and mandatory table service.

People will no longer be required to scan in using QR codes but venues can still request this if they want or visitors can continue to scan and check-in if they wish.

17:52Daniel Smith

The government will no longer instruct people to work from home.

However, it also remains the decision for employers as people will have a clear legal right to work from home if they’re not comfortable with mask rules in their workplace.

17:51Daniel Smith

You will not longer be required to wear a face mask by law in all settings.

Guidance will be issued and suggest people might choose to wear a face-covering in enclosed and crowded places, but this will be voluntary.

This even applies in the NHS and care homes – where face masks will not be a legal requirement, even though they will be advised.

This will also be the case for public transport or on flights.

However, individual airlines are free to tell their passengers to wear masks on board as a condition of travelling with that airline.

Businesses can also set rules for entry to their own premises and rail firms could attempt to mandate masks as a condition of carriage even if it’s not a legal requirement.

17:51Daniel Smith

The one metre plus rule will also be axed except in specific places – such as at the borders (the airport arrival hall), and if you test positive and are on your way to self-isolation.

17:51Daniel Smith

All remaining businesses will be able to reopen including nightclubs – and all capacity caps will be lifted, including on mass events.

17:50Daniel Smith

There will no longer be limits on social contact – with the rule of six indoors and rule of 30 outdoors, which limited gatherings by law, both gone.

The 30-person limit that remained on some “life events” such as bar mitzvahs and christenings will also be scrapped.

17:50Daniel Smith

Here's a rundown on everything we've been told…

Changes to waiting time between vaccines

The vaccine rollout will be further accelerated by reducing the dosing interval for under-40s from 12 weeks to eight weeks.

This matches the shorter eight-week interval that already exists for over-40s between their first and second dose.

It means the government now expects all adults to have been offered the chance for a second dose by mid-September.

17:48KEY EVENT

Professor Chris Whitty says he will continue to wear a face covering when in a crowded situation indoors, when required to by an authority and if someone else was uncomfortable with him not wearing a mask.

“I would wear a mask under three situations, and I would do so, particularly at this point when the epidemic is clearly significant and rising.

“And the first is in any situation which was indoors and crowded, or indoors with close proximity to other people and that is because masks help protect other people – this is a thing we do to protect other people, this is by far its principal aim.

“The second situation I’d do it is if I was required to by any competent authority. I would have no hesitation about doing that and I would consider that was a reasonable and sensible thing if they had good reason to do that.

“And the third reason is if someone else was uncomfortable if I did not wear a mask, as a point of common courtesy of course I would wear a mask so under all those circumstances I would do so.”

Sir Patrick Vallance says he would be “exactly the same” in terms of mask-wearing.

He says the “obvious place where mask-wearing becomes an advantage” is in indoor crowded spaces, the situation in which he said someone is most likely to catch the virus.

17:47Daniel Smith

The head of the TUC has called on the Government to consult with unions and employers on workplace safety guidance to avoid “widespread confusion” following the PM’s announcement on the easing of restrictions.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said details around masks in workplaces must be clarified, along with changes to rules on sick pay and enshrining rights to flexible working in law.

She added: “As the work from home guidance ends, employers must acknowledge that one size does not fit all.

“No one should miss out on flexible working. Ministers must bring in a new right to flexible working for every worker, in every job.

“Otherwise there will be a new class divide between those who can work flexibly from home, and those who can’t.”

17:47Daniel Smith

PM says travel restrictions are among some of the rules which will be looked at.

“We will maintain tough border controls, including the red list and recognising the protection afforded by two doses of vaccine.

“We will work with the travel industry towards removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals to isolate on return from an amber country.”

An update will be made this week by the Transport Secretary, Mr Johnson said.

17:44Daniel Smith

Mr Johnson says this is not the moment to get “demob happy” as he warned that the battle against coronavirus is “very far” from over.

“I don’t want people to feel this is, as it were, the moment to get demob happy, this is the end of Covid – it is very far from the end of dealing with this virus.”

17:43Daniel Smith

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it would be “sensible” to wear a mask on crowded public transport.

Responding to questions from Labour, Mr Javid said people would be expected to “behave sensibly and think about others” around them.

He told the Commons: “For example, if you’re on public transport, let’s say a very crowded Tube, I think it would be sensible to wear a mask – not least for respect for others.

“But if you’re the only person in a carriage late at night on the East Coast Mainline then you can choose much more easily not to wear a mask because there’s hardly anyone else around.”

17:42Daniel Smith

Sajid Javid, replying to questions from Labour in the Commons, said: “Case numbers are high and they will go higher and they will go significantly higher and we need to be ready for that.

“But what is far more important is how many people are ending up in hospital and how many, sadly, are dying and that is where the vaccines have worked alongside the treatments that we now have that we didn’t have a year or so ago.

“It has meant that the link between cases and deaths has been severely weakened.”

Mr Javid also said: “There’s no absolutely risk-free way to move forward but we do need to start returning things back towards normal and learning to live with Covid.”

17:41Daniel Smith

The PM is asked if he is concerned about football fans and the venues hosting them for football matches prior to July 19.

He says his advice is to support England “enthusiastically” but in a “responsible” way and says the events at Wembley has measures in place.

Sir Patrick Vallance says indoor environments with crowded spaces that become the risk for spreading and where “super spreading events” occur.

17:39Daniel Smith

Conservative MPs shouted “hallelujah” as Sajid Javid revealed the measures which would be lifted in Step 4.

The Health Secretary told MPs it would be the “biggest step of all, a restoration of so many of the freedoms that make this country great”.

17:38Daniel Smith

The government is no longer telling people to work from home and the rest is up to employers.

PM says this change has been made possible due to the vaccination programme and creating a “wall of immunity”.

17:37Daniel Smith

A test, trace and isolate system that is “proportionate to the pandemic” will continue to be used, the PM says.

“You will have to self-isolate if you test positive or are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

“We are looking to move to a different regime for fully vaccinated contacts of those testing positive and also for children.”

He said that more details are to be announced on Tuesday to “maintain key protections but remove bubbles and contact isolation for pupils”.

17:36Daniel Smith

Health Secretary Sajid Javid is warning that by July 19 the number of cases of Covid would be “far higher than today” but that “we can now protect the NHS without having to go to extraordinary lengths that we’ve had to do so in the past”.

He said that his ministerial post meant also tackling “the other challenges that we know that we must address, from mental health to social care, to the challenges of long Covid”.

And he told the Commons: “I am determined to get to work on busting the backlog too, the backlog that has been caused by this pandemic, a backlog that we know will get a lot worse before it gets better.”

Mr Javid also said the Government had decided against the use of so-called vaccine passports.

He told MPs: “While already a feature of international travel, we have concluded that we do not think using certification as a condition of entry is a way to go. For people who have not been offered a full course of vaccination and for businesses we felt the impact outweighed the public health benefits. Of course, businesses can use Covid status certification at their own discretion.”

Mr Javid said the NHS app would show a person’s Covid status so they could prove they had either had a full course of the vaccine, a recent negative test, “or some ot

17:35Daniel Smith

17:34Daniel Smith

Sky News reporter Beth Rigby asks the PM whether he is being cautious and can he be sure the lifting of restrictions is irreversible,

He says they want to “strike the right balance” and move from elaborate government rules to people exercising personal responsibility.

“This pandemic is far from over,” he adds but says the vaccination programme has helped bring a “wall of protection”.

PM says he doesn't want people to think this is the “end of Covid” as it is far from it.

On irreversibility, he adds that if they find another variant that doesn't respond to vaccines or “another bug should appear” they'd do whatever it take to protect the public.

“I think this is a balanced and cautious approach,” he says.

Sir Patrick Vallance then answers whether restrictions over the winter are likely.

He says this coming winter may be “very difficult” for the NHS and says that is not a “controversial statement”.

17:29Daniel Smith

The head of the trade body for the leisure and hospitality sector has said businesses will be “celebrating” the latest announcement on the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “The Prime Minister’s announcement marks a major milestone in how England will come to live with Covid and will be celebrated by hospitality business owners and their staff across the country.

“For the vast majority of hospitality businesses, July 19 – if confirmed next week – will be the first time in 16 months that they have been able to realistically look to break even and move towards profitability.”

She added: “Hospitality businesses will continue to provide safe and enjoyable experiences as we move into the summer and beyond and, in doing so, will also safeguard jobs, livelihoods and the venues we cherish so much.

“In order to do so, venues will need autonomy to act according to their own risk assessments, without local authority gold-plating, and a workable test and trace system that doesn’t demand blanket self-isolation like the test to remain-style system, to ensure that we can both protect our staff but trade with sufficient teams.”

17:28KEY EVENT

The aim is that “everyone over 18 should be double jabbed by the middle of September”, according to the PM

He said this is in addition to the autumn programme of booster jabs for the most vulnerable.

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

17:28Daniel Smith

Prof Whitty says lifting restriction in the summer is more beneficial than the autumn and heading into the winter when the NHS faces more pressure for reasons other than Covid.

He says it's a more “difficult and technical” decision to make now.

He says you can get to a point where you are averting hospitalisation or just delaying them.

This does raise the question about what will happen later in the year?

17:27Daniel Smith

Prof Whitty says the projections show we should reach the peak of cases before we get to the same point of pressures seen in January.

However, he says this does come with uncertainty and says the goverment is having to make “difficult” decisions.

He also answers on face masks.

Prof Whitty says he'll wear a mask in any situation which is indoors and crowded or in close proximity to other people.

Second, if required to by any authority and third, if someone else was uncomfortable he was not wearing a mask.

Sir Patrick agrees on the mask wearing.

17:24Daniel Smith


... read more
– July 5, 2021
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