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Johnson to issue update on ‘freedom day’ unlocking plans

B

oris Johnson will use a press conference on Monday to set out how he plans to “restore people’s freedoms” at the final stage of his road map out of lockdown.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister wanted to give the public and businesses more time to prepare for unlocking on July 19, so will give an update before his formal announcement is due next week.

The Government will also publish the results of its reviews into the use of so-called vaccine passports and the future of social distancing guidance.

The confirmation of a press conference comes after Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said he expected life to “return to normality as far as possible” in England after the “terminus date” due to the success of the vaccine rollout in preventing serious illness.

The Cabinet minister told the BBC the country had moved into the “final furlong” of coronavirus restrictions.

As we begin to learn to live with this virus, we must all continue to carefully manage the risks from Covid

Reports have suggested that Mr Johnson is preparing to scrap social distancing measures and ditch legal requirements to wear face coverings on “freedom day”.

Officials said the Prime Minister would on Monday give an update on the next steps on the one metre-plus rule in hospitality venues, the use of masks, and working from home.

As well as publishing the taskforce reviews, an update will also be provided on what is next for care home visits, No 10 said.

Speaking before his announcement, the Prime Minister said people would have to “exercise judgment” to protect themselves from Covid-19, in a sign the Government will shift from legally enforced restrictions to affording people personal choice.

“Thanks to the successful rollout of our vaccination programme, we are progressing cautiously through our road map,” Mr Johnson said.

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