Update 13th July
The Prime Minister and Health Secretary have now confirmed we will be lifting the final restrictions in England on July 19th. However, the ending of these Covid rules doesn’t mean the pandemic is fully over, and we should all continue to use our good sense and be responsible in protecting ourselves and those vulnerable in the weeks and months ahead as we learn to live with this virus.
More detail can be found here: 19 July guidance on protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Update 7th July
Yesterday, I was pleased to hear the PM lay out the Government's plans to end all legal restrictions on July 19th in the final step of our Roadmap out of lockdown - while urging all of us to exercise judgement as we return to normal.
I’m sure everyone was pleased to see him confirm it will bring about a return to the normality we all miss, and its only thanks to the continued efforts of the people across the country, our brilliant NHS, and our historic vaccination programme. We have now seen the the link between cases and hospitalisations severely weakened, but not broken - which is why it is vital we all continue to follow the restrictions while they are still in place, before using our own common sense, ie wearing masks on crowded trains, washing hands regularly, staying 2 meters apart in hospitals and health clinics etc.
This announcement means social distancing and mask-wearing requirements in law ending, large events restarting, restrictions on care home visits and choirs being lifted and all businesses being allowed to fully reopen as everyone can return to work.
Furthermore, the Health Secretary announced today that people who have been double vaccinated will not have to self-isolate if they are in close contact with a positive Covid case. He also went on to say that "the latest figures show the vaccination programme has saved 27,000 lives and prevented 7m people from getting Covid." and that "Both doses can reduce symptomatic infection by almost 80%."
The PM also set out our plans to control the virus by accelerating our vaccine rollout, continuing with an updated test and trace programme, maintaining tough border controls, and retaining contingency measures as we allow the public to make their own informed decisions about how to balance risks and manage the virus.
Today, the Education Secretary also announced plans to remove bubbles and contact isolation for pupils in England while maintaining other key protections, so that children are able to safely remain in school, where they belong.
The next update will come next Monday, but I’m very confident we will see the us move to Stage 4 in just under 2 weeks’ time on July 19th – which is very exciting to be able to write!
For more on the PM’s statement, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-sets-out-plan-to-ease-restrictions-at-step-4