The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that Britain is getting close to the end of its COVID-19 restrictions after a tumultuous year of strict government lockdowns.
“If we can’t reopen our society in the next few weeks when we will be helped by the arrival of summer and the school holidays, we must ask ourselves ‘when will we be able to reopen?’” Johnson said at a press briefing at Downing Street, per CNBC.
All remaining businesses that are currently closed, like nightclubs, would be allowed to reopen and social-distancing rules would also end.
Johnson reiterated that Covid will become a virus that we learn to live with as we already do with flu, conceding that a reopening would likely lead to more deaths.
“It has grown ever clearer that these vaccines are indeed successful with the majority of those admitted to hospital unvaccinated.”
As reported by the BBC, “Face masks will no longer be legally required and distancing rules will be scrapped at the final stage of England’s Covid lockdown roadmap, Boris Johnson has confirmed.”
“The rule of six inside private homes will be removed and work-from-home guidance abolished as 16 months of on-off restrictions on daily life end. The PM said he expected the final step would go ahead as planned on 19 July,” the outlet added. The guidance will be confirmed on July 12th after an analysis of the most recent data.
The prime minister said, “If we don’t go ahead now when we’ve clearly done so much with the vaccination programme to break the link… when would we go ahead?”
He added, “We run the risk of either opening up at a very difficult time when the virus has an edge, has an advantage, in the cold months, or again putting everything off to next year.”
Johnson added that more information on schools, travel, and self-isolation will be coming in the near future. However, Johnson “said that even after the removal of the legal requirement to wear a face covering, he would continue to wear one himself in crowded places ‘as a courtesy,'” per BBC.
CNN reported the news in a more negative way, stating that England was taking “a big Covid-19 gamble as Johnson sets out plan to scrap lockdown rules.”
According to government information, 86.1% of the adult population in the United Kingdom had gotten one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 2nd dose up to and including July 4th. Although positive coronavirus cases have recently gone up slightly, deaths have not dramatically increased.
Johnson previously announced an easing of restrictions in May as part of the country’s COVID alert level program.
As reported by The Daily Wire, England eased its lockdown restrictions in May as the United Kingdom’s COVID alert level was brought down to a three, allowing people to move about more freely while keeping some guidance in place.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at the time that human contact would be allowed as the country begins to loosen its restrictions in the midst of a drop in new coronavirus cases. Johnson said at the time that people should use common sense due to the fact that social contact is the main method of transmitting the virus.
Europe has continued to reopen as some Americans remain connected to the concept of mask-wearing. In late May, The Daily Wire reported that the European Union was set to ease restrictions for foreign tourists this summer.
As Bloomberg reported, “Ambassadors from the EU’s 27 member states backed a proposal to waive quarantine for those with coronavirus inoculations approved by its drug regulator, including shots from Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson.”
According to travel outlet Afar, “On June 18, the United States was added to the European Union’s approved list of countries for entry, ending a 15-month ban on travel from the United States to Europe due to the pandemic.”
Being on this list also opens travel options for U.S. travelers who are unvaccinated, not just for those who are vaccinated. On May 20, European Union leaders had already agreed on measures to allow fully vaccinated visitors to enter the 27-nation bloc. But once countries reach certain epidemiological benchmarks (no more than 75 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, for instance), and are placed on the approved countries list, that allows for the lifting of restrictions on nonessential travel regardless of vaccination status.
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