Boris Johnson to announce end of social distancing and face mask rules 3 months ago

Boris Johnson to announce end of social distancing and face mask rules

PM to make an announcement ahead of freedom day

Freedom day is fast approaching unless it gets changed, that is, and PM Boris Johnson is set to outline his plan in a press conference today. It is believed this address will cover face masks, social distancing, care-home visits, and cautionary tales.

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Last month, step four of the PM's plan was delayed because of rising cases and the prevalence of the Delta variant, which originated in India. Johnson was heavily criticised for his methods of dealing with the Delta variant, which eventually led to restrictions being extended. But the Hancock variant also ran riot during this time, which led to Sajid Javid being appointed as the new health secretary.

The results of the government's reviews into vaccine certification and the future of social distancing are also to be published. But Johnson will also warn that it is now up to us to guide our own lives, which, judging by some reactions, will be difficult. Scientists have said that masks should still be worn despite restrictions lifting. However, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Environment Secretary George Eustice have insisted they will remove their masks the moment restrictions are lifted.

Ahead of this announcement, Johnson said the following:

"Thanks to the successful rollout of our vaccination programme, we are progressing cautiously through our roadmap. Today we will set out how we can restore people's freedoms when we reach step 4.

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"But I must stress that the pandemic is not over and that cases will continue to rise over the coming weeks.

"As we begin to learn to live with this virus, we must all continue to carefully manage the risks from COVID and exercise judgement when going about our lives."

 In reply, Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said:

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"We are all desperate to move on from restrictions but with infections continuing to rise steeply thanks to the Delta variant, Boris Johnson needs to outline the measures he will introduce such as ventilation support for buildings and sick pay for isolation to push cases down.

"Letting cases rise with no action means further pressure on the NHS, more sickness, disruption to education and risks a new variant emerging with a selection advantage.

"So far 'learning to live with the virus' had been no more than a ministerial slogan.

"Now we know this is the government's strategy, when Sajid Javid addresses the Commons he must explain what level of mortality and cases of long-COVID he considers acceptable.

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"And what support will be in place for the most deprived areas where cases are highest and vaccination rates lowest."