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UK gov't confirms lifting of most COVID restrictions next week despite surging cases

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-07-13 07:02
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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts at a news conference as he gives an update on relaxing restrictions imposed on the country during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic inside the Downing Street Briefing Room in London, Britain July 12, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - The British government confirmed Monday that most COVID-19 restrictions in England will end next week despite surging cases caused by the Delta variant first identified in India.

Most restrictions are set to end on July 19 as part of the final step or Step Four of England's roadmap out of the lockdown, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously announced. But this still needs to be confirmed on Monday following a review of the latest data by the government.

The detailed arrangement of Step Four includes: no more limits on social contact to allow people to gather in groups of any size; removing the "one meter-plus" rule in almost all settings, except for specific places such as airports; no capacity caps on large scale events; people are no longer required to work from home, etc.

Speaking at a press conference Monday at Downing Street, Johnson said it is "vital" to proceed with caution and "this pandemic is not over".

His remarks came as Britain reported another 34,471 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 5,155,243, according to official figures released Monday.

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