Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that all legal coronavirus restrictions including mask-wearing, social distancing and nightclub closures will end at Step 4 of the Government’s plan to ease England’s lockdown, which is expected to be on July 19.

At a press conference held this afternoon, Mr Johnson added that the gap between coronavirus vaccine doses for the under-40s will be reduced from 12 weeks to eight in an acceleration of the rollout to allow all adults to be offered both jabs by mid-September.

However, he insisted that the pandemic is “far from over” and will not be over by July 19, with a potential 50,000 cases detected a day by that date.

He told the Downing Street press conference: “We’re seeing rising hospital admissions and we must reconcile ourselves sadly to more deaths from Covid.

“In these circumstances we must take a careful and a balanced decision. And there’s only one reason why we can contemplate going ahead to step four in circumstances where we’d normally be locking down further, and that’s because of the continuing effectiveness of the vaccine rollout.”

He said the expectation remains that by July 19 every adult in the UK will have had the offer of a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and two-thirds will have had a second dose.

What are the rules that are changing?

The Prime Minister said that, come 'Step 4' on July 19, there will be several rule changes:

  • Let people make their own decision on how they 'manage the virus'.
  • Remove legal limits of numbers meeting indoors and outdoors.
  • Allow ALL businesses to reopen, including nightclubs.
  • Lift limit on named-visitors to care homes and number of people attending concerts, theatre, and sporting events.
  • Remove 1m rule.
  • Remove legal rule to wear a facemask.
  • No more bubbles/contact isolation in school.
  • No more work from home rule.
  • No need for a Covid certificate to event events.
  • Continue to use Test and Trace - and continue to self isolate if testing positive.
  • No more quarantine from amber list countries.