Johnson says restrictions to ease, UK must live with virus

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Tower Bridge in London (Photo: Colin / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0)

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says people in England will no longer be required by law to wear face masks in indoor public spaces and to keep at least 1 meter (3 feet) apart as soon as later this month.

Johnson on Monday confirmed plans to reopen society despite rising coronavirus cases.

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He says legal sanctions will be replaced by individual “informed decisions” when the country moves to the final stage of lifting its long lockdown.

That’s scheduled to happen on July 19, although a final decision will come on July 12.

Britain has recorded more than 128,000 coronavirus deaths, the second-highest toll in Europe after Russia, and infections are rising now due to the highly transmissible delta variant.