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Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives an update on relaxing COVID-19 restrictions at a virtual press conference on July 5, 2021. Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday said that England will lift mask requirements and social distancing rules later this month amid rising coronavirus cases, AP reports.

Driving the news: Individuals in England will no longer be required by law to wear face masks in indoor public spaces. Businesses can still require masks and remove distancing restrictions, but Johnson said fighting the pandemic would now be a matter of "personal responsibility," and Britain would have to “learn to live with this virus," per the AP.

  • The country is scheduled to move to its final stage of lifting lockdown restrictions on July 19, but a final decision will come on July 12.
  • Johnson expects to see all night clubs, museums, theaters and sports venues allowed to operate without capacity limits or distancing measures come July 19, according to The Washington Post.
  • Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will determine their own rules for lifting restrictions.

The big picture: Coronavirus infections are rising to 25,000 a day, driven largely by the Delta variant, according to the Post.

  • Johnson said the decision to move towards reopening is due to the effectiveness of the vaccines, per the Post. About 85% of the adult population in Britain has received a first vaccine dose.
  • He acknowledged there would likely be an increase in deaths and cases after the restrictions are lifted.
  • "This pandemic is far from over,” Johnson said, adding “we must reconcile ourselves, sadly, to more deaths from COVID.”

Go deeper

Oct 12, 2021 - World

U.K. COVID lockdown delay cost thousands of lives, report finds

Photo: Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

The delay of the U.K.'s first coronavirus lockdown and the government's failure to prioritize social care is one of the country's worst "public health failures" and led to thousands of avoidable deaths, British lawmakers said in a report Tuesday.

Driving the news: The inquiry was aimed at discovering why the U.K. "did significantly worse in terms of covid deaths than many countries" in the early days of the pandemic, according to the the report, compiled by the Health and Social Care Committee.

Updated 20 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Mix-and-matching gains momentum — Boosters overtake first doses in U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate Brazilian cityPanel endorses J&J booster.
  2. Health: Age is still a huge coronavirus risk factor — Unvaccinated 11x more likely to die from COVID — 5x more police officers died from COVID than guns.
  3. Politics: Over 30 states limited public health powers — Pope Francis calls on companies to release vaccine patents — Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated Oct 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden lifting land border travel restrictions for fully vaccinated

Photo: Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration will open up U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel starting in November — but only to those fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Why it matters: Government officials and business leaders have decried the economic impact pandemic travel restrictions have had on border communities. They have called for the U.S. to reopen the borders given high, and rising, vaccinations rates there.