• Monday, November 28, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

No more masks from July 19 as UK set to become ‘most open country in Europe’

Pedestrians, some wearing masks due to Covid-19, walk past shops in Hounslow, west London (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pooja Shrivastava

ENGLAND is all set to go mask-free as latest media reports claim that wearing face masks will become a matter-of-choice everywhere – including on public transport- under a raft of measures that are set to come into force from July 19 which will “make Britain the most open country in Europe”. 

 

As per Freedom Day plans that are expected to be signed off by the cabinet soon, wearing face masks will become voluntary, double-jabbed Britons will not be required to self-isolate or take Covid-19 tests even if they are alerted that they have come into contact with someone with the virus and the school bubble system- that is keeping hundreds of thousands of children at home- will be replaced by daily testing system.

Restaurants, pubs and shops will no longer have to demand that customers provide their personal data or sign in with a ‘QR’ code, media report said, adding that prime minister Boris Johnson is also “determined” to make double-jabbed holidaymakers enjoy a foreign break without having to isolate when they return to Britain.

The guidelines, which are expected to be announced this week, are also expected to end the one-metre-plus rule in hospitality venues such as pubs.

“This is a big injection of freedom that will make us the most open country in Europe,” a No 10 source told The Mail on Sunday (4).

The development comes as covid infections continue to rise across the UK. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data suggests that there has been “a notable increase in infection rates” across England, Wales and Scotland during the week ending 26 June with one in every 250 people may now be infected by coronavirus.

Saturday (3) saw 24, 885 new daily cases and 18 new deaths. The rises are said to be driven by the Delta variant, bringing the infection rates similar to February. However, it is hoped fewer people will go on to become ill with severe symptoms, because of the vaccination programme.

Recent figures also suggest that vaccines have already reduced hospital admissions and deaths as fewer infections are now leading to a death as compared with what was seen last winter.

Meanwhile, Britain’s vaccination programme continues with 85.7 per cent of adults having now had their first jab, while 63.4 per cent have received both doses of the vaccine.

Speaking about the vaccine programme, UK health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said that the UK is “on track” to escape almost every vestige of lockdown on July 19, adding: “We will have a country that is not just freer, but healthier, too.”

 

 

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