Government will 'move away from legally set obligations' on July 19, Health Minister says

12 July 2021, 08:06

The Health Minister was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast
The Health Minister was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast. Picture: LBC
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Health minister Edward Argar said guidance on things like mask-wearing"would continue even after so-called "freedom day" on July 19.

Health Minister Edward Argar told LBC Step 4 of the roadmap to unlocking seeks to "remove legal restrictions," but "leave in place guidance."

He said the government would "move away from legally set obligations" but issue "guidance," and "encourage people to be cautious and use the innate common sense of the British people."

Mr Argar told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast that he would continue to carry a face mask with him and then use it on a "crowded train" or in a hospital.

Nick pressed the minister, asking if he thought this would mean restaurants and theatres would be able to reopen to full capacity.

"When you see all the legal restrictions removed and a move towards guidance and common sense, with a healthy dose of caution, then businesses will be able to make those judgements."

Mr Argar said once the "legal obligations" are removed then it will be down to businesses to make the decisions.

"It's about giving that responsibility back to businesses and individuals to exercise personal responsibility and make informed choices."

Later on Monday the Prime Minister will host a press conference where he is expected to say that the country can move to Step 4 of the plan to lift measures, including ending the legal requirement to wear masks.

Downing Street said the unlocking would be based on four tests - the success of the vaccine rollout, evidence that the vaccine is causing a reduction in hospital admissions and deaths, that infection rates do not risk a surge in admissions, and that no new variants of concern throw progress off track.

The PM said: "We are tantalisingly close to the final milestone in our road map out of lockdown, but the plan to restore our freedoms must come with a warning.

"While the phenomenal vaccine rollout has offered every adult some protection against the virus, and the crucial link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths is weakened, the global pandemic is not over yet.

"Cases will rise as we unlock, so as we confirm our plans today, our message will be clear. Caution is absolutely vital, and we must all take responsibility so we don't undo our progress, ensuring we continue to protect our NHS."

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Is Boris running a country or a frat house, asks ex-Tory comms chief

'Is Boris running a country or a frat house?': Ex-Tory comms chief slams No10 culture

Steve Barclay tried to explain why Boris Johnson didn’t query how his son’s swing got broken

Partygate: Why didn't the PM ask more questions over his son's broken swing?

Mother of cancer teen 'forced to take GCSEs' in hospital hits out at exam board decision

Mother of cancer teen 'forced to take GCSEs' in hospital hits out at exam board decision

Minister calls for 'restraint' on public sector pay rises as huge train strike looms

Minister calls for 'restraint' on public sector pay rises as crippling train strike looms

'What more do they want?!': Nick Ferrari's fury over rail strikes

'What more do they want?!': Nick Ferrari's fury over rail strikes

'You're at odds with the Home Sec': Nick clashes with police chief over taking the knee

'You're at odds with the Home Sec': Ferrari clashes with top cop over taking the knee

'Dear God!': Nick Ferrari baffled by Platinum Jubilee bunting ban

'Dear God!': Nick Ferrari baffled by Platinum Jubilee bunting ban

'He chooses to serve this country': Minister defends Chancellor after he made Rich List

Rich List Rishi Sunak 'could do anything with his life but he serves his country'

'I don't like Clive!' Nick Ferrari disgusted by work drinks bullying compo

'I don't like Clive!': Nick Ferrari disgusted by work drinks bullying compo

'I started worrying about my job': Caller recounts experience with 'micromanaging' boss

'I started worrying about my job': Caller recounts working with 'micromanaging' boss

Dominic Raab said it would be Sue Gray's "prerogative" to "name and shame" politicians who were issued with fines

'Boris didn't get away with Partygate': Raab says it's up to Sue Gray to name and shame

Kit Malthouse said "we believe the law should be blind"

Minister slaps down police chief who said shoplifters stealing to eat should be spared

Caller hosting Ukrainian refugees admits she regrets it

Caller regrets hosting Ukrainian refugees as it has cost 'hundreds of pounds'

Liz Truss explained plans to alter parts of the Northern Ireland protocol

'We don’t want to scrap NI protocol, just the bits that don’t work': Truss tells LBC

NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of senior officials soars by 125%

NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of managers soars by 125%

Tony Danker said potentially two million Brits are skipping meals

'Do something to help,' CBI chief tells Sunak as millions of Brits forced to skip meals