U.K.’s PM to confirm lifting of COVID-19 curbs next week

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set Monday to confirm “Freedom Day” next week with the lifting of most pandemic curbs in England, but will urge caution with experts worried the government is moving too fast.

Mr. Johnson was due to hold an afternoon news conference confirming that the government’s tests have been met to allow a full reopening of the economy on July 19, doing away with the final measures of a months-old lockdown.

But with Britain now averaging more than 30,000 daily cases of the fast-spreading Delta coronavirus variant, scientists are fretting that the ending of measures such as mandatory mask-wearing spells trouble. And the government’s decision to allow more than 60,000 football fans to attend Sunday’s European Championship final has added to fears, after near-total flouting of distancing rules.

Mr. Johnson, however, insists the time is right to move from legally enforced rules to personal responsibility, and use the summer months to prepare for a potentially more damaging wave of COVID-19 in the winter. “We are tantalisingly close to the final milestone in our roadmap out of lockdown, but the plan to restore our freedoms must come with a warning,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 2:01:53 PM |

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