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UK gears up to lift all lockdown restrictions

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to confirm that all remaining lockdown restrictions in England will be lifted in a week’s time while urging people to remain cautious amid a huge resurgence of the coronavirus.

Johnson is expected to say at a news conference that face masks and all social distancing measures will be lifted in England on July 19. But he is also set to downplay talk of “Freedom Day” given the sharp rise in new cases.

The UK as a whole has seen infections soar in recent weeks as a result of the delta variant. Daily infection levels are running at over 30,000, their highest rates since January.

Though the government has warned that daily case numbers will rise further, potentially hitting 100,000 at some point this summer, it is pressing on with the unlocking because of the rapid rollout of vaccines. As of Sunday, 87% of UK adults have received at least one vaccine dose while 66% have had two.

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