What This Easing Will Look Like:
July 19th 2021 has been titled freedom day by the general public as the government has now confirmed that Covid lockdown restrictions will be easing as planned on this date. However, July 19th does not mark the end of corona virus, and this risks the disease brings continue to exist. The message from Boris Johnson pushes caution above all else, as he states July 19TH “should not be taken as an invitation by everybody simply to have a great jubilee and freedom from any kind of caution or restraint. It is absolutely vital that we proceed now with caution and I cannot say this powerfully or emphatically enough: this pandemic is not over,".
The caveat was then added that this easing will be reviewed and potentially amended in September. So, what do the easing plans coming into effect on July 19th look like?
1) A staggered return to work
Businesses have been asked to stagger the return of employees to the office throughout the summer. Susan Hopkins, of Public health England, reinforced to businesses that the return to workplaces, "Over the next four to six weeks… [should] be very cautiously implemented… to keep transmission down. If you are able to do your business effectively from home, then... we should try our best to do that."
2) Masks are expected to be worn
- The legal requirement to wear face masks in public will end on July 19th. However, common sense is urged. It is expected that most people will be sensible and will wear masks or face coverings in any crowded or enclosed space when they will encounter people they wouldn’t usually.
- Masks will not be required in nightclubs, but nightclubs could be expected to demonstrate a Covid-status certificate in the future.
3) Advised to limit social contact
- There will be no legal requirements surrounding social contact from July 19th but common sense is again advised. Consider meetings outdoors if you can.
- Clinically vulnerable people will have no additional rules to follow than the general public but again, are asked to use caution and consider their wellbeing and the additional danger the virus poses to them. Avoiding crowded spaces is not advised and contact with family and friends is a personal choice.
4) Covid Passports
- Nightclubs and large crowded settings are expected to use Covid-status certification. They are also advised to use the NHS covid app to allow people to show proof of their double vaccination status, natural immunity or a recent negative test as a “means of entry”.