BORIS Johnson will lift almost all Covid restrictions from July 19 as part of his “freedom plan” set to be published next week, it has been reported. 

The Prime Minister yesterday gave his clearest indication yet that he will push forward with the full unlocking later this month. 

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Yesterday, Mr Johnson fuelled hopes that restrictions will end on July 19 so life can “get back to what it was”.

He said: “It looks ever clearer … the speed of that vaccine rollout has broken that link between infection and mortality and that’s an amazing thing.

“That gives us the scope, we think on the 19th to go ahead, cautiously, irreversibly."

He added: “Double jabs will be a liberator. I know people are impatient for us to open up faster. Of course, I want to do that. We’re now in the final furlong, I really believe. We have to look very carefully at the data.

“At the moment we’re seeing a big increase in cases, but that is not translating into a big increase in serious illness and death.”

He said it is becoming clearer the jabs rollout has broken the link between infection and death. 

 

However, he added: “I will be setting out in the next few days what Step 4 will look like.

“We’ll be wanting to go back to a world that is as close to the status quo as possible.” Yesterday, 27,989 new cases were reported in the UK.

In the past week there have been 146,360 — a 72 per cent increase in seven days.

But only 22 deaths were recorded yesterday, making 114 over the past week — a ten per cent increase.

Steve Baker, deputy chairman of the Covid Recovery Group of Tory MPs, said that restrictions must not return in the coming months once they are eased on July 19. 

He said: “Ministers are giving me every indication that I am going to be happy on July 19.

“That is great – there is nothing I would like more than to see restrictions lifted this summer so that we can all make a fresh start this autumn.

“The trouble is that I fear I won’t be happy in the autumn and winter when the health lobby pushes for further lockdowns in order to manage capacity in the NHS.”

Government sources told the Mail that a final decision on lifting restrictions will not be made until July 12 but a full plan will be published next week to help businesses prepare. 

Government sources told the Mail that a final decision on lifting restrictions will not be made until July 12 but a full plan will be published next week to help businesses prepare. 

The PM is expected to sanction the lifting of all limits on social contact – including a ban on gatherings of over 30. Nightclubs will finally be allowed to reopen. 

Plans for vaccine passports have also been scrapped for large events – though organisers will be allowed to set their own requirements for ticket holders. 

Ministers are also confident that rules on face masks will be shelved – though this has not been confirmed. 

An extra 259 patients were admitted to hospital yesterday, with 1,735 over the past week — an 11 per cent rise.

Kings College London says most people in hospital or killed by the virus have not been vaccinated, and Covid symptoms in the UK are now “more like a bad cold”.

Prof Tim Spector said: “We may have reached the peak of Covid infections in the North West and West Midlands, where the Delta variant got an early hold.”

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