Covid 19 - Prime Minister's Statement - Life after 18th July 2021
In a televised press conference yesterday evening the Prime Minister set out the government’s vision for life after 18th July. His vision was echoed in a simultaneous statement to the Houses of Parliament by the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid.
If and when England moves to ‘Step 4’ of the government’s roadmap to lifting restrictions, the Prime Minster announced, the vast majority of social distancing measures will be lifted.
In the hospitality sector it was stated that all social distancing requirements will be lifted.
The current social distancing restrictions will fall away when the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 expire on 18th July. This sunset clause is baked into the regulations themselves, as will the Local Authorities powers to issue direction letters as the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 also expire.
Other repeals may require a vote in Parliament but these principle measures will cease to exist simply by the flux of time.
This is on the understanding that the measures are not extended at the last moment.
The statement by the government is being seen as a very strong signal that the step delayed to the 19th July will happen however the Prime Minister was careful to highlight that the final decision would not be taken until 12th July and would, as before, be based on the data available to the government.
The cases of infection are currently rising steeply however this alone would not seem to a bar on the promised relaxations. Yesterday the Prime Minister and Health Secretary indicated that daily infection rates in the region of 50,000 can be expected on 19th July but this alone would not stop the planned relaxations.
Yesterday the Government also updated the published information, including the final reports, regarding the reviews that were committed to in the 'COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021'. These updates included reports from the event research programme, the social distancing review and certification review.
We shall keep you updated.