With all the legal lockdown restrictions expected to be lifted on July 19, England is about to move into a phase of ‘personal responsibility.’ Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, said on BBC Andrew Marr Show that all restrictions would end in the UK on July 19. He said:
It does look as if - thanks to the success of the vaccine programme - that we now have the scope to roll back those restrictions and return to a normality as far as possible.
Moving into a period of no legal restrictions, he said people will have to exercise personal responsibility. He believes that people would ‘come to different conclusions’ over masks and social distancing rules. However, he trusts people to exercise their good judgement over such decisions.
What would the scenario be after July 19?
Mr Jenrick argued, that the cases would still be on the rise after the restrictions are lifted, but no date would ever come without risks. Keeping this in mind, he said:
But we now have to move into a different period where we learn to live with the virus, we take precautions and we as individuals take personal responsibility.
Having said that, he urged people to get fully vaccinated so more lenient laws can be made. The government is still looking into the data and the prime minister is likely to make an announcement in the coming days. On asking his opinion about optional masks he refused to wear one and argued:
We will be moving into a phase where these will be matters of personal choice. So, some members of society will want to do so for perfectly legitimate reasons but it will be a different period where we as private citizens make these judgements rather than the government telling you what to do.
The relief of easing lockdown restrictions
Since the pandemic has started, there has been a significant increase in domestic violence cases and a terrible impact on mental health. Easing up restrictions has now finally become somewhat feasible, thanks to the vaccination programs that caused the previous postponement of Freedom Day.
The government might come up with measures with mandatory masks in public transports but, that’s not certain yet. Further, the UK government is also looking into more workable school arrangements than the current school bubbles system. On this, Mr Jenrick, commented:
As a parent, I've seen it first-hand. It's extremely frustrating. We want to see that come to an end and to move to a different and better system.