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Health Minister Javid Confirms 19 July as Day of Freedom for England

© AP Photo / Sang Tan / People board an underground "Tube" train at Oxford Circus underground station in London. (File)
People board an underground Tube train at Oxford Circus underground station in London. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.07.2021
Downing Street "firmly believes" that the next stage of the roadmap out of national lockdown should start on 19 July as previously planned by the government, Javid told MPs on Monday.
UK Health Secretary has addressed the House of Commons to confirm it was "the right time to get our nation closer to normal life." 
Addressing the concerns, also voiced by the opposition in the past weeks, Javid said he doesn't believe infection rates will put unsustainable pressure on the National Health Service (NHS). 
He did however recommend and expect people to wear face coverings in certain settings. Javid confirmed that businesses and large events will be supported and encouraged to use certification in high risk settings. 
There will be a gradual return to workplaces over the summer. The summer season was named as the right time for England to exit lockdown restrictions, instead of postponing the step until winter. 
"It's so important that people act with caution, and with personal responsibility," Javid said. "Everyone should return to work gradually if they're currently working from home, they should try to meet people outside where that's possible, and it is expected and recommended that people should wear face coverings, unless they're exempt, in crowded indoor settings like public transport." 
Javid's statement reflected the plans set out last week by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is expected to hold a press conference on the matter on Monday. 
Johnson has previously set out "four tests" for exiting Covid-19 lockdown. 
The four tests are:
  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern
As of 10th July, a total of 80.3 million vaccine doses have been administered in the UK, with 45.7 million adults receiving a first dose (86.9%) and 34.5 million adults receiving both doses (65.6%).
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