PM Confirms “Freedom Day” Plans as England Moves to Step Four July 19

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that Ingle will move towards step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown meaning that face masks will no longer be legally required, and social distancing rules will be scrapped in July 19 meaning that there will be no requirement for covert certificates as a condition to entry to venues or events, and there were no longer be a requirement for table service in pubs

The PM said he expected the final step would happen as planned on 19 July, however this will not be confirmed until July 12.

St will be removed, as will the one-metre-plus social distancing requirement and the legal obligation to wear a face covering in certain situations. All businesses will be permitted to reopen, including nightclubs.

The limit on numbers of people attending concerts, theatre and sports events will be removed and employers can “start planning a safe return to the workplace”.

People will still have to self-isolate if they are told to do so by the NHS Test and Trace app or if they test positive, however the prime minister said the government was looking to move to “a different regime for fully vaccinated contacts of those testing positive”.

The Prime Minister also said the government will work with the travel industry towards removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals from amber countries to isolate, with an update from transport secretary Grant Shapps expected later this week.

“We will place an emphasis on strengthened guidance and do everything possible to avoid re-imposing restrictions with all the costs that they bring,” Boris Johnson said.

“We’ll move away from legal restrictions and allow people to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus.”

He added: “We have to balance the risks – the risks of the disease… and the risks of continuing with legally enforced restrictions and inevitably take their toll on peoples’ lives and livelihoods, on peoples’ health and mental health… if we can’t reopen our society in the next few weeks, when we’ll be helped by the arrival of summer and the school holidays… when will we be able to return to normal?… The alternative to that is to open up in winter when the virus will have the advantage, or not at all this year.”

The British Beer & Pub Association welcomed the announcement that restrictions on pubs in England would be lifted on July 19th if the government goes ahead with its roadmap.

The trade association said the lifting of restrictions would mean more than 2,000 pubs that had been forced to stay shut because they couldn’t operate under social distancing and table service only restrictions could reopen.

However, after nearly 18 months of forced closure or operating with heavy restrictions, the trade association warned that the lifting of restrictions would mark only the beginning of the British beer and pub sector’s recovery from COVID-19.

To fully recover and lead the economic bounce back from lockdown as the UK builds back better, the British Beer & Pub Association is urging the Government to invest in the sector by reforming VAT, beer duty and business rates to reduce the unfair tax burden pubs and breweries face.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:

“The lifting of all remaining restrictions on pubs in England, if the Government sticks to its roadmap, is hugely welcome for our sector. A pint of beer on July 19th is going to taste all the sweeter!

“After nearly 18 months of forced closure or operating under severe restrictions – which crippled the viability of pubs – July 19th should mark the beginning of the recovery for our sector in England.

“Over 2,000 pubs remained closed because they couldn’t viably operate with social distancing and table service only. Hopefully from July 19th, these pubs will be able to reopen.

“COVID, the lockdowns and restrictions have nearly destroyed our pubs. As they now get ready to reopen as normal once more, the recovery of our sector is only just beginning.

“Having been one of the worst hit sectors by lockdown, our pubs and brewers now need the Government to invest in them by reforming VAT, beer duty and business rates to reduce the unfair tax burden they face and aid their recovery.

“The Brewing and Pub Sector have a vital role to play in building back better in communities across the country. Investment in our sector will help drive the economic bounce back and aid the government with its levelling up agenda. We also urge the devolved administrations to now follow suit by removing restrictions and ensuring the recovery of the great British pub can start nationwide.”