Those in England from July 19th onwards are likely to have an environment that will be almost free of COVID-19 restrictions; Confirmation of this is expected on July 12th. However, entry into the UK will remain difficult as there are few plans to change the rules relating to entry into the country.
These proposed changes are being made despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who announced them on Monday, acknowledges that this will likely further increase the number of COVID-19 cases in his country. He added that England will have to “learn to live with the virus” and that legal restrictions will be replaced by the sense of “personal responsibility” of English residents.
His reasoning is that not being able to reopen for summer would result in him and the others wondering, “When can we get back to normal?”
As a result, no one else would need to wear masks or social distance, including on public transport. Doing this in the last configuration will remain recommended, however, while Johnson “would wear a mask in crowded places… as a matter of personal courtesy”. In addition, sporting events and nightclubs would be allowed in their full capacity. The government would also stop asking its citizens to work from home whenever possible.
One requirement that would remain is those who need isolation if they receive a positive COVID-19 test result.
Johnson said he hopes to remove the quarantine requirement for vaccinated individuals entering England from “amber” countries, which is an extensive list made up of most countries in the world. Several others are on the “red” list, which would require a quarantine in a government-approved hotel.
The announcement came amid the rise of infections in the country, attributed to the delta variant, the one that was first detected in India and that devastated that country. However, one advantage the UK now has over India is a high vaccination rate. Almost two-thirds of British adults – 64% – are fully vaccinated, with a further 22% having received a dose of a two-dose vaccine.
Johnson added that the restrictions could be re-implemented in the future if circumstances warrant.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not affected by this announcement, although their lock closure plans are similar.