However, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said he couldn’t confirm that all restrictions would be lifted until Boris Johnson made his update in the coming week – nor could he say whether the Wales and Scotland would follow England’s lead on July 19.
Mr Jenrick told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘We have now been living for 18 months with extraordinary restrictions of one kind or another.
“It appears that, thanks to the success of the immunization program, we now have the opportunity to roll back these restrictions and return to normality where possible.
“We should all be prepared, even though the cases may continue to increase, they may continue to increase significantly, but now we have to enter a different period where we learn to live with the virus, we take precautions and we, as individuals, let’s take our responsibilities. ”
However, he said he couldn’t confirm that all restrictions would be lifted until Boris Johnson made his update this week, but said he felt England were in the “last one.” stage ”of the Covid measures.
When asked if he expected all mask wear and restrictions to be enforced on July 19, he replied to Mr. Marr: “I cannot make that commitment this morning because the Prime Minister is going to make an announcement in the next few days, but it looks as if the data is in the right places.
“The cases are increasing and that should make us cautious, but it does not translate into serious illness and death.
“It is as if we are now in the last stage, in a period where we can start living with the virus and continue with our lives. “
The Communities Secretary said he hoped the UK could act together when the Covid restrictions were lifted, but acknowledged the situation was different in the Union.
When asked if Wales and Scotland would follow England’s lead on July 19, Mr Marr “I don’t know.
“We would like the whole Union to move as one. We will be working with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to try to be as coordinated as possible.
“The cases are slightly different in each of the four countries, but certainly in England we think things are looking positive for July 19th. “
Mr Jenrick said the government is “still reviewing the data” to allow those who have been fully vaccinated to be able to vacation without quarantine in countries on the Amber List for international travel.
But he added: “It is our goal, yes, that those who are doubly vaccinated can get to the Amber List countries as soon as possible, including for the holidays. “
Earlier this morning, Mr Jenrick confirmed that wearing face masks will no longer be compulsory in England after July 19.
When asked if the change in tact could cause social tensions, where some people choose to continue to wear masks in public places while others abandon them, Mr Jenrick replied: ‘I hope that no.
“We trust the British public to use good judgment, people will come to different conclusions. “
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for NHS England, said he believed people would naturally be more careful and could continue to wear face masks after July 19 by choice.
He told Andrew Marr on BBC One: “I think some people will choose to be more careful. Some people may choose to wear face masks in special circumstances, such as crowded environments, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. These habits for reducing infections are a good thing to keep. “
A long-time discussing Covid, he said the NHS had established 89 clinics across the country to handle demand from people suffering from the long-term effects of the virus.
He also confirmed that children can also become long Covid and that the NHS is ready to vaccinate children against the coronavirus if the government chooses.
“Some children may have symptoms that persist beyond infection,” he said. “This is why we are in addition to these 89 clinics that are setting up a number of pediatric centers for children for a long time Covid across the country.
“The NHS is ready to immunize children. Of course, this is a government decision based on guidance from JCVI. We immunize children against the flu every fall, so that’s something we’re used to doing.