BRITS will no longer legally have to wear masks or stick to social distancing from July 19 – but shops can still demand customers to wear them.
Boris Johnson announced that he would be tearing up Covid rules in two weeks time when Brits can finally get back to normal on freedom day.
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Among the rules relaxing, the PM announced that people will no longer be forced to cover their faces on buses and trains, in shops and in other indoor venues.
Currently, you could be slapped with a fine of up to £6,400 for not wearing a mask, unless you are exempt.
But it will be a personal choice as to whether you use one or not from July 19.
He also said social distancing rules will be lifted too – which means retailers don’t have to keep strict customer limits in place in stores.
It comes as:
- Hefty fines for refusing to wear a mask indoors will be dropped as face mask laws binned – but coverings will still be recommended for crowded spaces
- All legal limits restricting social contact will be torn up, such as the rule of six or rule of 30 outside
- Work from home guidance will be dropped in favour of firms’ discretion
- Pub rules will be binned – with table service scrapped and social distancing ending
- Strict caps on care home visitors will be ditched – but PPE will stay
- ALL adults will now get their second jab after eight weeks, down from 12
- The one metre plus social distancing rule will be binned – except for ports and for people who have Covid
- It means festivals and full stadiums will finally be able to make a return after lifting all limits on mass events
- Covid certificates will be binned – but individual places can still demand them if they want
- Ministers will announce school bubble rules and holiday quarantine updates later this week
- Doubled jabbed Brits will soon escape isolation rules if they are in contact with a positive case
What businesses can reopen?
THE new ‘Freedom Day’ date where all remaining rules should be lifted is July 19.
- Strip clubs
- Shisha bars
- Music venues
- Any other venue still closed
The PM said we must “balance the risk” of the disease from the virus and the harm from continuing with legal restrictions which “inevitably take their toll on people’s lives and livelihoods, on people’s health and mental health”.
He added: “And we must be honest with ourselves that if we can’t reopen our society in the next few weeks, when we will be helped by the arrival of summer, and by the school holidays, then we must ask ourselves ‘when will we be able to return to normal?’
“And to those who say we should delay again – the alternative to that is to open up in winter when the virus will have an advantage, or not at all this year.”
However, you might find you still have to stick to a number of these rules from July 19 – even when they have been lifted.
This is because it will be up to each business as to whether they axe the restrictions while many Brits are still waiting for their second jab.
Supermarkets and retailers are yet to announce whether they will be lifting the rules.
What are the Covid rules in supermarkets and shops now?
There are a number of rules shoppers have to follow when picking up their groceries or indulging in a bit of retail therapy.
Shoppers are being encouraged to sanitise their hands before entering stores.
Many retailers have put hand sanitiser stations at the entrance of their stores that customers can use.
Customers have to wear masks when shopping in stores too.
Supermarkets and retailers have put security guards in place at store entrances to remind shoppers to cover their faces before entering.
Many stores are limiting the number of people allowed into the shop at the same time to allow for social distancing.
This often causes shoppers to queue outside at busier times.
Signs that have been put up around shops should also be adhered to.
This includes notices asking people to follow the one way systems, which are in place in many shops so everyone can stay socially distanced and avoid walking closely past each other.
Where possible, customers are being asked to shop alone to reduce the number of people in stores at the same time.
This will also help other customers to social distance while shopping.
Brits can return to the office from July 19.
Party-goers can let their hair down in nightclubs, gigs and house parties when rules lift.
Here’s what you need to know about the PM’s speech today.