Boris Johnson last night warned Covid curbs could return in September if new freedoms are abused.
He confirmed most restrictions will be axed on Monday but at a gloomy Downing Street press conference insisted caution was vital.
He added: ‘I cannot say this powerfully or emphatically enough – this pandemic is not over. This disease coronavirus continues to carry risks for you and for your family. We cannot simply revert instantly from Monday, July 19, to life as it was before Covid.’
Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said families should still ‘avoid unnecessary meetings’ with other households with normal life returning only ‘very slowly’.
Mr Johnson called for continued mask-wearing in busy indoor settings such as trains, supermarkets and cinemas. And he urged firms not to order staff back to their desks despite the lifting of the formal ‘work from home guidance’.
The Prime Minister also dropped his claim that the unlocking would be ‘irreversible’. Asked whether restrictions could return, he said he hoped they would not but added: ‘We must rule nothing out.’