Prime Minister Boris Johnson will today unveil a plan to lift most if not all of England’s pandemic restrictions starting July 19, as he urges the public to “learn to live with” the coronavirus.
Johnson had initially aimed for a full reopening on June 21, but was forced to push back the date because of a surge in the highly contagious Delta variant.
That variant now accounts for nearly all new COVID-19 cases in Britain, and infection rates have soared — but mass vaccinations have stopped a resultant surge in hospitalizations or deaths.
The prime minister is set to outline the planned easing for England at an afternoon news conference. The UK’s other nations — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — are moving at a slower pace.
“Thanks to the successful rollout of our vaccination program, we are progressing cautiously through our roadmap,” Johnson says, vowing to “restore people’s freedoms.”
“But I must stress that the pandemic is not over and that cases will continue to rise over the coming weeks,” he added.
“As we begin to learn to live with this virus, we must all continue to carefully manage the risks from COVID and exercise judgment when going about our lives.”