People have been told to “act with caution” and recommended to wear masks, while businesses will be encouraged to use COVID-19 vaccination certification as the government moves forward with the final lifting of lockdown restrictions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday confirmed an end to England’s social-distancing rules from July 19 as 34,471 cases of coronavirus and six deaths were confirmed in England.
In a press conference at Downing Street, Mr Johnson warned that if they were to wait to reopen, they would be doing so when the weather “gets colder” and when “the virus acquires a greater natural advantage”.
“We think now is the right moment to proceed, when we have the natural firebreak of the school holidays in the next few days,” he said.
“But it is absolutely vital that we proceed now with caution, and I cannot say this powerfully or emphatically enough, this pandemic is not over.
“We cannot simply revert instantly to life as it was before COVID.”
The rules being relaxed include:
- The end of one metre-plus social distancing
- No need to to wear masks indoors, in shops and on public transport
- The limits on visitors to care homes will be lifted
- The legal limits on people meeting indoors and outdoors will be removed
- All businesses will be allowed to reopen, including night clubs
- The request to work from home where possible will also be scrapped
- No COVID certificate will be required to enter any venue or event – though businesses may choose to require some way to show COVID status
As part of the plans going forwarded, guidance will be produced which will, however, encourage businesses and large events to use vaccination certification, while a further review will take place in September to test the country’s preparedness for Autumn.
Despite concerns over lifting rules on face coverings, government bosses said people should “act with caution and with personal responsibility,” adding it was “expected and recommended that people should wear face coverings, unless they’re exempt, in crowded indoor settings like public transport”.
Mr Johnson said the government “don’t expect that the whole country will return to their desk as of one on Monday” adding there would be guidance for a gradual return over the summer.
The government has now given out 80 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, and government bosses said nine in 10 adults in the UK now have COVID-19 antibodies and two thirds had been given two doses.
Meanwhile, scientific evidence was that the vaccine had “severely weakened” the link between cases and hospitalisation and deaths. This includes against the Delta variant, which is more transmissible, but which government said the data showed was just as affected by double doses.
Confirming the plans in the House of Commons prior to the Prime Minister, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the country was in a “stronger position than ever before”.
“This will be a major milestone for this country, taking us another step closer to the life that we all used to live. It means carefully removing more of the restrictions that have governed our daily lives,” he said.
“We’ve all been yearning to get there, and I want, and we all want this to be a one way journey.”
He later warned: “Sadly, the case numbers will get a lot worse before they get better, we could reach 100,000 cases a day later in the summer.”
The government’s COVID-19 dashboard on Monday reported 252 new cases in Lincolnshire, 149 in North East Lincolnshire and 81 in North Lincolnshire. The figure is just 4% higher than last Monday’s 463 cases.
In positive news, Lincolnshire hospitals have not reported a coronavirus-related death in 38 days, and for 23 days in North Lincolnshire — with over 70% of the population already double-jabbed.
Nationally, cases increased by 34,471 to 5,155,243 while deaths rose by six to 128,431.
Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire on Monday, July 12
69,689 cases (up 482)
- 46,479 in Lincolnshire (up 252)
- 10,840 in North Lincolnshire (up 81)
- 12,370 in North East Lincolnshire (up 149)
2,196 deaths (no change)
- 1,622 from Lincolnshire (no change)
- 302 from North Lincolnshire (no change)
- 272 from North East Lincolnshire (no change)
of which 1,314 hospital deaths (no change)
- 816 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (no change)
- 43 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)
- 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
- 454 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (no change)
5,155,243 UK cases, 128,431 deaths