PM pleads for caution as ‘Freedom Day’ arrives in England.
Pictures of queue’s nationally across the UK have flooded social media. As the clocks struck midnight, eager Brits hit the bars and clubs around the country to get their first taste of ‘Freedom Day’.
Masks are now voluntary in all settings, including shops, hospitality and public transport. People will be told to exercise their personal judgement.
While the legal requirement to cover your nose and mouth will be lifted, the government is still advising people to wear them in crowded spaces such as on buses, trains and trams.
Mass events, such as music festivals, can resume. Singing in church will be allowed, and there will be no limit on the number of people at weddings and funerals.
Customers in pubs will be able to walk to the bar and be served there.
There will be no requirement to scan a QR code when entering a restaurant, gym, or any other venue, nor will businesses be required to collect customers’ contact tracing details, although they may choose to do so if they wish.
Boris Johnson is among those locked away on “freedom day” in England after being pinged.
Concerns around lifting all restrictions and what this could mean for the NHS long term
Nadhim Zahawi tells Sky News there is “no perfect time” and that “this is as good a time as any” to end restrictions in England.
He says he is “confident” we are doing the right thing and that the vaccination programme means we are able to take this step “cautiously”.
A requirement to isolate after testing positive or after coming into contact with an infected person remains in place for those who are not fully vaccinated.
But as previously announced by Health Secretary Sajid Javid, those who are double-jabbed – as well as under 18s in England – will no longer have to isolate if they have come into close contact with COVID from 16 August.