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England set to make facemasks optional by 19 July

© Belga

Facemasks and social distancing will no longer be compulsory in England from 19 July, despite a rise in the number of coronavirus cases as a result of the spread of the Delta variant, British media reported on Sunday.

Facemasks will become a “personal responsibility,” Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to give details in the “next few days” of the changes to be implemented in health-related regulations.

Many British newspapers report that, according to the Prime Minister, a raft of measures could be terminated. Patrons would reportedly be able to sit at the counter in pubs once again, while large-scale events such as festivals would be authorised, the newspapers revealed.

However, the Delta variant of the coronavirus has been causing a spike in infections in the UK, even though the number of hospitalisations and deaths has been increasing more slowly than in previous waves.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still enforcing compulsory facemasks. Early last week, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland’s targeted deadline for scrapping the main measures was 9 August.

The Brussels Times