UK government confirms lifting of most COVID-19 restrictions in England next week

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Fans of England are seen during the final between England and Italy at the UEFA EURO 2020 in London, Britain, on July 11, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Most COVID-19 restrictions in England will end next week, Britain's Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed Monday.

Most coronavirus restrictions are set to end on July 19 as part of the final step or Step Four of England's roadmap out of the lockdown, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously announced. But this still needs to be confirmed on Monday following a review of the latest data by the government.

The detailed arrangement of Step Four includes: no more limits on social contact to allow people to gather in groups of any size; removing the "one meter-plus" rule in almost all settings, except for specific places such as airports; no capacity caps on large scale events; people are no longer required to work from home, etc.

It is the right time to go to Step Four, Javid said during his speech in the parliament. "If not now, when? There will never be a perfect time to take this step because we simply cannot eradicate this virus."

Despite the easing which will see legal requirement to wear face masks in shops and on public transport being lifted, the government will still recommend the use of face masks in crowded areas, according to Sky News. Scientists have warned that lifting all restrictions at this stage could increase likelihood of dangerous variants.

More than 87 percent of adults in Britain have received the first jab of COVID-19 vaccine and over 66 percent have received two doses, the latest official figures showed.

Javid said that the government is now on track to offer every adult a dose of the vaccine by July 19.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

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