Freedom day has been postponed once before, but ministers have been assuring the public that that July 19 will be the end of all COVID restrictions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has maintained that he is confident on the reopening, he said on Monday:
With every day that goes by it's clearer to me and all our scientific advisers that we're very likely to be in a position on 19 July to say that really is the terminus, and we can go back to life as it was before Covid as far as possible.
There are less than three weeks till freedom day, and speculations have been forming around which measures will be lifted and which will remain. Here’s what we know so far.
Pubs, bars and restaurants
From July 19, the rule of six is set to be lifted from indoor eating and dining establishments—this will allow restaurants, bars, and pubs to increase their capacity and thrive once more. Additionally, the one-metre plus and certain table service rules may also be dropped on Freedom day.
Events and nightclubs
Sporting events have already been taking place, but from July 19 they’ll be able to open their venues at fullcapacity which will come as a relief to many eager sporting fans.
Over the past few weeks, the government launched a number of pilot events that tested techniques to reduce transmission in large events. Depending on the results of these trials, they will decide whether or not nightclubs, festivals, performances, and big events will be given the green light. However, the government has said:
We hope to reopen remaining premises, including nightclubs, and ease the restrictions on large events and performances that apply in Step 3.
Social distancing and face masks
Authorities have yet to confirm whether or not rules around social distancing and face masks will be lifted for sure. However, the laws governing social distancing are set to end on July 19. After this date, people will be advised to continue following social distancing protocols in certain areas.
Additionally, if social distancing is indeed scrapped, employees may have to return back to the offices after working from home for over a year.
Furthermore, allegations have been made that the government will axe the mandatory wearing of face masks in all spaces and face-covering will be left to the discretion of individuals instead.