Govt wants to replace Covid laws with 'personal responsibility' after July 19, LBC told

4 July 2021, 11:16 | Updated: 4 July 2021, 17:20

Govt wants to replace Covid laws with personal responsibility

By Will Taylor

Ministers want to replace Government Covid laws with "personal responsibility", LBC has been told.

Speaking to LBC's Tom Swarbrick, housing minister Robert Jenrick said he anticipates England's July 19 "freedom day" will go ahead.

He added that in place of laws regulating how people live their lives during the pandemic, the Government wants to move towards individuals exercising personal responsibility.

Mr Jenrick said Boris Johnson will set out the plans on July 12.

"We should be able to move away from those restrictions and move back towards life as it was before the pandemic," he told LBC's Swarbrick on Sunday.

"There will be things we all need to do in our daily lives, and that that will mean us exercising our personal responsibility, rather than the state telling you what to do with laws and and guidance."

Read more: Calls for some Covid rules to stay but double-jabbed will 'no longer need to self-isolate'

Read more: Mask wearing and social distancing 'to be voluntary after July 19'

Ministers also want to allow people who have received two jabs of a coronavirus vaccine to be free of self-isolation rules if they have been in contact with a Covid case.

Mr Jenrick confirmed the Government is examining freeing the double-jabbed from the quarantine requirement.

Jenrick: Double-jabbed won't have to quarantine

It would mean that as cases climb while England’s lockdown is eased, the need to stay indoors after being near an infected person will fall away – a huge step closer to normality.

Instead, testing will be used to ensure they have not caught Covid themselves.

Mr Jenrick said: "We haven't made a final decision on this point.

"But you're right to say that we would like to get to a point where if you have been double vaccinated, then you don't need to self isolate, you would get a lateral flow test and test yourself, either at school or at home or in the workplace, every day.

"And then if you were particularly concerned or you had a close contact, you'd have the PCR test, which is the much more sensitive one.

"That would mean that we would be able to go about our daily lives, in a much less restrictive way."

Walport: Keeping some restrictions after July 19 'good work culture'

Labour's shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves told LBC she wanted to see the evidence the Government was using to unlock later this month to ensure ministers "get this right".

Mr Jenrick's remarks come as reports say that mask wearing and social distancing rules will end from July 19, with The Sunday Times reporting continuing to do so will be left up to individuals.

Mass events like festivals are also due to return.

The unlocking comes despite doctors pleading this weekend for some restrictions, like mask wearing in certain situations, to remain to stop Covid spreading.

Ministers hope that although cases will increase with easing lockdown rules, the link between new cases and hospitalisations and deaths has been severely weakened thanks to the vaccine rollout.