Rules eased for two Covid-19 jabs as businesses reserve judgement on 19 July reopening

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Government plans to ease all Covid-19 restrictions on 19 July received a cautious welcome from businesses today, though PM Boris Johnson said a final decision will be made on 12 July.


Health Secretary Sajid Javid also confirmed changes to social distancing rules today along changes to self-vaccination rules for people who have had two jabs.


Though Javid warned that the number of infections might rise to as high as 100,000 per day in the height of summer, the Health Secretary said that people who are fully vaccinated can self-test rather than self-isolate if they come into close contact with someone with the virus.


People who have had both jabs will no longer need to quarantine if they visit an amber list, the PM also hinted with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps expected to outline the details later this week.


Scientists have warned about the need for restraint given the rise in Delta variant cases in the UK and especially among the unvaccinated.


Johnson, though, said a whole range of restrictions that have been imposed for months would in all likelihood be lifted in just under two weeks.


That includes social distancing, wearing face masks on public transport, table service only and only going to a place of work if it is a necessity.


Businesses such as nightclubs that are still shut under the current rules will also be allowed to reopen.


Trade bodies welcomed the commitment but said more clarity was required on what will be allowed once the restrictions are eased especially on staff going back to the office.


“Without clear guidance for businesses around the new proposals, there could be real uncertainty on how they should operate going forward and what they should be doing to keep staff and their customers safe,” said Shevaun Haviland, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce,


Johnson said last night:” The government is no longer telling people it is necessary that they should work from home – the rest is really for employees and employers to work out for themselves.


“The overwhelming proportion of the workforce has had two jabs, so we’re talking about a huge wall of immunity.”


There was also concern about the lifting of the mandatory rule about wearing a facemask, especially on public transport, but the government wants to take advantage of the vaccination programme success, said commentators.


The reports generated little movement n the City with modest gains for pub groups Mitchells and Butlers PLC (LON:MAB), up 0.3% to 300.8p, and City Pub (LON:CPC) up 2.3% at 131p, but JD Wetherspoon fell 1.1% to 1,259p.


Airlines fared better and continued their recent mini-rally with an additional tailwind coming from news that Germany is to allow in UK visitors who can prove they have been fully vaccinated without having to quarantine.


British Airways owner IAG (LON:IAG) rose 0.7% to 190.2p, though Ryanair and EasyJet were flat.


–updates for vaccination news —

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