One of the big assertions about July 19th is that this will go on being designated “Freedom Day” although the main effort thereafter will be to encourage us all to maintain the habits that we have all become used to. The big difference is that anybody who doesn’t want to follow this can do so without fear of penalty.
It has been made very clear that there will be no reintroduction of compulsory controls – the big question is whether this will be sustained even if the infection numbers soar to new levels.
The Smarkets exchange, where Shadsy of Ladbrokes fame, is now running the political markets, has put up a bet on whether this will be the case. Here are the market rules:-
This market relates to whether the UK government re-introduces any legally enforceable restrictions on social contact in England related to the spread of coronavirus, following the legal end of restrictions on social contact (currently expected to take place on 19 July 2021). Examples may include, but are not limited to, the mandatory wearing of face masks on public transport or the closure of pubs/nightclubs. For the purposes of this market, restrictions will not include any regulations on international travel or any regulations related to self-isolation or quarantine. For the purposes of this market, ‘re-introduce’ does not require any restrictions to exactly replicate previous restrictions. If the UK government does not end restrictions on social contact in 2021, and thus could not ‘re-introduce’ restrictions, this market will be void. Dates in this market relate to when any restrictions come into force in England, rather than the date on which they are announced.
Currently you can get about evens either way. My thought is to bet on COVID restriction being reintroduced. We all know how often BoJo has changed his stance during the pandemic.