5 Jul 2021

England set to end social distancing and all legal Covid restrictions, says PM

Political Editor

The final decision will not come for another week, but Boris Johnson did not leave much doubt about his determination to scrap England’s Covid restrictions at his Downing Street press conference this afternoon.

He asked: “If we can’t open up now, when will we be able to?” and he went on to set out what changes are expected from 19 July.

The requirement to wear a face mask will be removed, although there will be guidance suggesting it might be advisable in crowded places.

There will be no limits on gatherings of any size and all remaining restrictions on businesses opening will be lifted, including on nightclubs and pubs, where standing at the bar will be allowed again.

Labour said the prime minister was being reckless and acting before the data was in.