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
Watch the coronavirus press conference live on our channels at 5pm. pic.twitter.com/VxLwIzumTS— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) July 12, 2021
"We are tantalisingly close to the final milestone in our roadmap out of lockdown, but the plan to restore our freedoms must come with a warning. While the phenomenal vaccine rollout has offered every adult some protection against the virus, and the crucial link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths is weakened, the global pandemic is not over yet. Cases will rise as we unlock, so as we confirm our plans today, our message will be clear. Caution is absolutely vital, and we must all take responsibility so we don’t undo our progress, ensuring we continue to protect our NHS," said in a statement.
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%).