In February 2021, the government published a four-step roadmap to ease restrictions across England and provide a route back to a more normal way of life. The fourth step was confirmed during Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s press conference on 12 July. Lockdown is set to lift in England on Monday 19 July 2021. Here’s what you need to know.
What can you expect after the lockdown lift?
In a nutshell:
- It’s no longer a legal requirement to wear a face mask in enclosed public spaces
- Limits on the number of people who can attend venues, events or meetings are lifted
- Nightclubs can reopen with a requirement to ask for proof of vaccination and test results before entry
- If you test positive for the virus, then you’ll still be legally required to quarantine
- Those working at home can gradually return to the workplace
- Social distancing rules are removed
Even with the lockdown set to lift and most restrictions easing, the prime minister warned that the pandemic is not over. He emphasised that Covid-19 still carries risks for citizens and that it’s important to be responsible and take caution. For example, just because you are not legally required to wear a mask doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
How might the lockdown lift impact the economy?
A report in the Guardian highlights that a survey conducted by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO indicates that the easing of rules has brought about a surge in business activity. This is good news for the economy, but there are also reports of inflation pressures.
It’s encouraging that the general trend of the economy is positive, with hiring intentions increasing and investment plans at a high point. However, even with the lockdown set to lift, there’s uncertainty because the delta variant is causing a surge in coronavirus cases and deaths.
Government scientists are warning that the peak of the current wave isn’t expected until after mid-August. This is causing uncertainty, and that’s why the prime minister commented that if the roadmap is to be irreversible, then it has to be a cautious approach. So, it’s safe to say that the future trend of the economy depends on whether a cautious approach is adopted.
What precautions should you take after 19 July?
The first and probably most important thing you need to keep in mind is that the pandemic is not over. Even though there’s a vaccine, it isn’t a cure. The vaccine can lessen your symptoms, but you can still get the virus and spread it.
Taking precautions for your safety and that of others will remain a priority. That means it’ll be important to take a test if you have any coronavirus symptoms and self-isolate if it’s positive. You’ll also need to isolate if you’re contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
It may also be time to evaluate your financial situation and consider whether you’re making the right money moves. Remember, the future is uncertain. Though steps have been taken to repair the economy and control the virus, there’s still worry that the peak of the current wave hasn’t been reached. If you have any investment plans but are in doubt, then it’s always best to seek professional help.
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