Plans on track for July 19 easing, government confirms

Plans to relax most Covid restrictions in England from July 19 are on track, the government has confirmed.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said the easing would go ahead as planned in a televised briefing on Monday evening, following an earlier statement to the House of Commons from health secretary Savid Javid.

Javid said the government would be publishing a plan outlining a “safe and gradual approach” to lifting restrictions, which includes encouraging the use of vaccine passports in high-risk settings.

A review will also be held in September on preparations for the autumn and winter.

The news that the relaxation of restrictions will go ahead will further encourage those in the industry who gave a broad welcome to last week’s announcement that quarantine requirements for double-vaccinated travellers returning from amber destinations would be removed from the same date.

Addressing MPs, Javid said the delay in the easing of restrictions from the original target date of June 21 had been to build a higher “vaccine wall” and withstand a summer wave.

He added: “To those who say why take this step now, I say ‘if not now, then when?’”

More: Johnson pledges to retain ‘tough Covid policy at our borders’

Trade demands detail after PM agrees to end amber list country travel curbs

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