Face masks and social distancing to be lifted on 19 July

Matt Hancock has reassured the public by saying that plans to fully unlock the country are on track for 19 July, as herd immunity gets closer each day.

Despite the growing number of new daily infections having jumped to just over 11,500 cases over the last day, all COVID restrictions will most likely be ending on July 19.

Decreasing number of deaths

With the UK moving closer to achieving herd immunity by the day, medical experts are confident that the freedom of Britons will be fully restored by next month. This means that social distancing, face masks in public spaces and work-from-home guidance will become a thing of the past.

As COVID-related deaths have become much less prevalent over the last month, with only 27 having been recorded yesterday, the government will be prioritizing 'personal responsibility' over strict social distancing restrictions. Further, new promising data has revealed that nearly nine in 10 adults now have antibodies against COVID, moving the UK one step closer to reaching herd immunity.

As it stands currently, almost 60% of over-18s (31.5million) are now fully jabbed—one of the highest rates in the entire world. Despite growing fears surrounding the Delta variant, Matt Hancock reassured the public by saying that England was right on track for Freedom day to take place on July 19.

Promising figures

However, the possibility of having the country unlocked on 5 July was categorically ruled out. In a press conference, the Health Secretary said:

We are seeing that growth in case rates is slowing. Thankfully the number of hospitalisations, while rising, is not rising very quickly and thankfully even more is that the number of people dying from Covid remains very, very low.

He added:

So I'd say we're on track for the opening on the 19th of July, and we will watch vigilantly and we'll look at the data in particular at the start of next week.
But I'd say the data has since, over last week or so, been encouraging, and especially looking at the number of people who are dying, that is staying very, very low and shows the vaccines are working and getting us out of this.
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