Boris to Urge Britons to Keep Working from Home, Wearing Masks After ‘Freedom Day’

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 08: UK prime minister Boris Johnson visits the Energy Company Bulb today in Liverpool Street on July 8, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The British public will be “expected” to work from home and continue wearing masks in public spaces, despite the expected announcement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson that lockdown restrictions will finally be lifted by next week.

While government ministers have been publicly stating that mask-wearing and other persuasions will be the “personal choice” of individual Britons after the July 19th ‘Freedom Day’, the Prime Minister is set to issue a “warning” of caution against a return to normality.

“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,” Johnson said per The Telegraph.

Stressing that “cases will rise as we unlock”, Mr Johnson added: “Caution is absolutely vital, and we must all take responsibility so we don’t undo our progress, ensuring we continue to protect our NHS.”

In a press conference expected at 5 pm on Monday, Johnson is expected to call on the public to keep working from home where possible and to continue wearing masks.

Adding onto the doom-mongering of the dangers of reopening, Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday that it is “possible” for hospitalisations to reach levels not seen since the last spike in January.

Zahawi said that while there will be no government “diktat” on mask-wearing, he said that the public will still be “expected” to wear masks in crowded or public spaces following the end of restrictions.

“The guidelines will be very clear on things like mask-wearing. There’s an expectation for people to wear masks indoors, in crowded places, on public transport,” he said.

The vaccines minister added that will also be a “corporate responsibility” to enforce masks and social distancing, continuing with the government line that businesses may require vaccine passports for customers even if the government doesn’t mandate them.

The former leader of the Tory Party, Sir Iain Duncan Smith warned that the messaging from the government would lead to confusion, as it is unclear when and where exactly masks would be “expected” to be worn.

Smith went on to express concerns that the dower sentiments expressed by the government result in “watering things down” during the lifting of restrictions.

The deputy chairman of the Covid Recovery Group of lockdown-sceptic Tory MPs, Steve Baker said that the constant shifting on positions from the government was “torturing the nation”.

“It’s not fair snatching away people’s hope, it’s psychologically, profoundly destructive,” Baker said.

Junior health minister Edward Argar argued that the guidance wasn’t confusing, saying: “When we move to step 4 we will see the falling away of legal obligations and legal restrictions towards personal and corporate responsibility, based on clear and strong guidance, and people will make their own judgments.”

Despite Boris Johnson’s promise that the end of lockdown restrictions would be “irreversible“, there have been increasing signs from the government that this may not be the case, with the scientific establishment already warning about a possible Autumn wave of the Chinese coronavirus.

Last week, Jonson said that the government will “retain contingency measures to help manage the virus during higher risk periods, such as the winter.”

“But we will place an emphasis on strengthened guidance and do everything possible to avoid reimposing restrictions with all the costs that they bring,” he added.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.