Boris Johnson made the final confirmation today (12 July).
The Prime Minister addressed the nation at 5pm (BST) and confirmed that England will go ahead with exiting lockdown restrictions on 19 July. After Freedom Day, social distancing rules won’t be enforced. However, Boris Johnson stated that the “pandemic is not over” and urged people to continue to wear face masks in enclosed spaces with strangers, such as public transport. Though people won’t be legally obligated to wear face coverings, the PM says it is recommended.
The lifting of lockdown restrictions also means that clubs and festivals are allowed to reopen in England next week. Johnson insisted that clubs and events should make use of NHS Covid Passes – which contain vaccination statuses, immunity details and test results – as a means of entry.
As of today, 34,471 new cases and six deaths within 28 days of a positive test have been reported across the UK.
On 27 June, thousands gathered in London to march as part of the Save Our Scene protest. They called for the government to go ahead with lifting club and festival restrictions on 19 July.
According to the Association of Independent Festivals, up to 51 percent of UK festivals with a 50,000 capacity have been cancelled due to the lack of a government-backed insurance scheme and uncertainty around Covid.