Boris Johnson unveils five-point plan to FINALLY lift lockdown from July 19 in big bang reopening but urges caution


BORIS Johnson tonight cried freedom by announcing a bonfire of Covid restrictions on July 19 – sweeping away social distancing, mandatory masks and orders to work from home.

After months of Covid rules, the bullish PM outlined a five-point plan to learn to live with the virus without lockdown.

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Boris Johnson unveiled a bonfire of Covid restrictions at a No10 press briefing tonight

His blueprint will see ministers double down on the vaccine rollout, encourage people to make smart choices, toughen border controls, maintain quarantine and keep a close eye on the data.

Mr Johnson confirmed he will strip back lockdown to the bare bones of requiring people to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by test and trace.

All other legal limits will be ripped up on Freedom Day for a summer of fun after a gruelling year and a half of draconian measures.

He said thanks to the hugely successful rollout of the vaccines, it meant Britain could unlock further, rather than look back again to even more lockdown measures.

He said tonight: “As we come to the fourth step, we have to balance the risks.

“We must take a careful and balanced decision.”

In a “big bang” showering of freedoms on July 19, the PM confirmed tonight:

  • Hefty fines for refusing to wear a mask indoors will be dropped as face mask laws binned – but coverings will still be recommended for crowded spaces
  • All legal limits restricting social contact will be torn up, such as the rule of six or rule of 30 outside
  • Work from home guidance will be dropped in favour of firms’ discretion
  • Pub rules will be binned – with table service scrapped and social distancing ending
  • Strict caps on care home visitors will be ditched – but PPE will stay
  • ALL adults will now get their second jab after eight weeks, down from 12
  • The one metre plus social distancing rule will be binned – except for ports and for people who have Covid
  • It means festivals and full stadiums will finally be able to make a return after lifting all limits on mass events
  • Covid certificates will be binned – but individual places can still demand them if they want
  • Ministers will announce school bubble rules and holiday quarantine updates later this week
  • Doubled jabbed Brits will soon escape isolation rules if they are in contact with a positive case

A final decision on whether to press ahead with lockdown lifting in two weeks will be made on July 12, but the PM said he expects to go ahead with it as planned.

He is confident Britain’s well-oiled vaccine rollout will allow ministers to swap “Government diktats” with the public’s “individual judgement”.

Today he unveiled his post-lockdown blueprint to give anxious businesses time to prepare for the grand reopening later this month.

But he warned that “the pandemic is far from over” and “we must reconcile ourselves, sadly, to more deaths from Covid”.

The top boffins warned that cases are on the rise
But vaccines are helping to keep hospitalisations right down
Deaths are also on the floor thanks to the vaccine rollout
More than half the population have now been double-jabbed

Up to 50,000 cases a day may become reality in the weeks ahead as the virus continues to spread through those who have not had both jabs.

While vaccines have weakened the link between cases and deaths, top boffin Chris Whitty warned the link was “not a completely broken one”.

Patrick Vallance also warned: “Hospitalizations, are rising and rising quite steeply in some places, and we would expect them to continue.”

But stressing now was the time to press the button, the PM said: “If we don’t go ahead now, when the summer fire break is coming up, the school holidays, all the advantages, that that should give us in fighting the virus, the question is, when will we go ahead?”


The most eye-catching announcement was giving the green light for train passengers and shoppers to bin their masks without fear of fines.

Downing Street said guidance would still urge people to don face coverings for crowded spaces like crammed carriages.

But the major easing was attacked by both Tory MPs branding it a “cop out” halfway house – and Labour big beasts warning it would frighten vulnerable people from going on public transport.

Legal requirements to wear face masks will be binned on July 19

The most eye-catching announcement was giving the green light for train passengers

All laws banning indoor mixing will be banished in a welcome change for pub landlords desperate to squeeze in more punters.

It also clears the way for nightclubs to reopen after being mothballed for a year and half.

Indoor entertainment will be allowed to open in two weeks time, along with other venues that have remained closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, including strip clubs and shisha bars.

Some protections like PPE and extensive cleaning will remain in care homes to protect the UK’s most vulnerable – but the cap on visitors will be lifted.

The PM also announced that guidance ordering staff to work from home will be ditched in favour of bosses’ discretion.

The only legal requirement that will stay in place will be to isolate if tested positive or contacted by NHS tracers.

But eventually double-jabbed Brits will be able to swerve quarantine, Downing Street announced, with that expected later this week.

Plans will also soon be revealed let fully-vaccinated passengers returning from abroad duck quarantine.

The PM hailed the vaccine rollout as the key clincher allowing him to take off the restraints.

His spokesperson said today: The delay to step four has allowed our vaccination programme to save thousans more lives by vaccinating millions more people.

“As a result, the data shows the link between cases and hospitalizations has been severely weakened but not broken.

“We know that cases will continue to rise as society opens up further. This means that hospitalisation serious illness and deaths from Coronavirus will continue, albeit at a much lower level than before the vaccination.”