Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday set out the changes that will be made on ‘freedom day’, 19 July, if the Government deems it safe to ease restrictions in its review next Monday.

Under the newly relaxed rules face masks will not be mandatory, even in shops and on public transport, while social distancing restrictions will also be scrapped, as well as limits on gatherings.

The planned easing of restrictions on the so-called ‘freedom day’ will mean a lot less work for jewellers and other shopkeepers who have had to impose mask-wearing and limit traffic in their stores for months.

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However, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) still has concerns, and says that the retail sector needs to be kept properly informed of the new measures, as do its customers.

Responding to the Prime Minister’s press conference on the easing of Covid restrictions, Tom Ironside, director of business and regulation at the BRC, said: “Retailers await the government’s final decision on July 12 about the easing of restrictions the following week.

“It will take consumers and businesses time to adjust and it is vital that government messaging is clear and consistent so that businesses and consumers easily understand what is expected of them both legally and individually.”

Despite the expected repeal of almost all restrictions, the Prime Minister still asked that the public use their common sense, with face masks and social distancing left up to personal choice from Monday, 19 July.