THE PRIME Minister is expected to lift all legal covid restrictions on July 19 - but will facemasks still need to be worn in public?

Yesterday, a cabinet member said that wearing masks will soon be made voluntary.

Robert Jennerick told the BBC's Andrew Marr that people would 'come to different conclusions' and the public will have to exercise 'personal responsibility' regarding the wearing of face masks.

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He added: "It does look as if the data is in the right place."

The discussions come after the new Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned that the UK would have to learn to live with the virus and said he was confident all restrictions will be lifted on July 19.

He said: “We are going to have to learn to accept the existence of Covid and find ways to cope with it – just as we already do with flu."

This afternoon Boris Johnson is expected to hold a press conference to give details on plans to ease further restrictions on July 19.

Mr Johnson will update the nation on the future of the one metre-plus rule in hospitality venues, the use of face coverings, and work from home guidance, with multiple reports suggesting they will all be scrapped.

It has been suggested that from so-called 'freedom day' on July 19 mask-wearing will become voluntary, while social distancing in pubs and bars will end – along with needing to use a QR code to check-in – meaning a return to drinking at the bar without the requirement for table service.

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Mass events, including festivals, will also reportedly be allowed under the proposals for the final stage of the road map out of lockdown.

Mr Javid will update MPs on Covid-19 with a statement at 5pm, the Commons Leader’s office said.

The Health Secretary’s statement is expected to coincide with the Prime Minister's press briefing.

Not everyone, however, is supporting the suggestion that masks may no longer be required.

Professor Stephen Reicher, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (Spi-B) which advises the Government, called for 'support and proportionate mitigations to keep us safe' from coronavirus.

Asked if he was more concerned about the Government’s messaging around the pandemic or the requirement to wear face masks potentially being dropped, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think both.

“I think we need very clear messaging and I think in certain spaces – crowded, badly ventilated spaces – masks are crucial mitigation.

“Not lockdown, but support and proportionate mitigations to keep us safe. Along with the vaccine, that’s the way out.”

Care minister Helen Whately said she expects the requirement of face masks in health and care settings to continue following the final stage of the road map out of lockdown, due on July 19.

She told Times Radio: “I’ll be looking at the guidance, I’ll be making a judgment, but I’m not keen to wear one when I don’t need one – personally, it’s not something I enjoy doing.

“But I’m also really aware that there will be circumstances, I’m expecting to continue in health and social care clearly, where people will need to continue to wear PPE, which includes masks.”