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England “temptingly close” to the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, says Boris Johnson – POLITICO



England is “temptingly close” to easing most of its lockdown restrictions in a week, Boris Johnson told a press conference on Monday, at which he is expected to present the government’s latest deliberations.

The UK Prime Minister – who aims to end most coronavirus restrictions in England on July 19 – said in a statement released ahead of the press conference that public caution remains “absolutely important” as the country gears up for a rise in cases .

Johnson has promised to lift social distancing rules, end compulsory face coverings and lift legal restrictions on gatherings, including weddings and funerals, in England next week in most scenarios.

The easing, however, depends on the government’s “four tests” to ease COVID restrictions being met. Johnson’s press conference on Downing Street on Monday afternoon will state the state of affairs. Health Minister Sajid Javid should also update parliament.

The four government tests are the continued success of the UK vaccination campaign; Evidence that the vaccinations are sufficiently effective to reduce deaths and hospitalizations in those who received them; Infection rates that do not risk spikes in hospital admissions that would overwhelm the National Health Service; and a judgment that new coronavirus variants do not fundamentally change the picture.

Johnson will release the latest data on Monday, with # 10 warning Sunday evening that COVID cases are likely to increase if restrictions are relaxed and that hospitalizations, serious illnesses and deaths “albeit at much lower levels than before.” “The Vaccination Continued Program.

Just under two-thirds (65.6 percent) of the UK adult population have now received both doses of the vaccine, according to the latest figures, with the government postponing an earlier planned relaxation of restrictions by four weeks in June to allow further progress. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland finish their own curbs on a different time frame.

“We’re temptingly close to the final milestone on our lockdown roadmap, but the plan to restore our freedoms must come with a warning,” said Johnson.

He added, “Cases will increase as we catch up. If we confirm our plans today, our message will be clear. Caution is absolutely essential and we all have to take responsibility not to undo our progress and make sure we continue to protect our NHS. “

The opposition Labor Party has questioned some elements of the government’s reopening strategy and opposed the removal of the mask requirement, despite agreeing that the restrictions should be lifted on July 19.

Shadowing secretary Kate Green warned Sunday that the transition to personal responsibility for masks was a “recipe for confusion” and “possibly a recipe for more confrontation”. She argued that it was “much clearer and easier for the government to maintain the mask requirement in public places after July 19”.

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