People across Colchester have been out and about on 'Freedom Day' as rules across England changed. 

The Gazette ventured into the town centre to speak to shoppers and businesses. 

Most remaining legal coronavirus restrictions have been lifted in England, leading to some dubbing today 'Freedom Day'. 

The country has finally reached the last step in the Government’s unlocking road map.

Read more >> Supermarkets give update on wearing a face mask in stores from today

Groups of more than six people from multiple households will be able to meet indoors and outdoors.


Businesses will reopen, including shuttered nightclubs that can welcome party-goers back to dance floors.

Face masks are no longer mandatory in shops and on public transport but now 'advised'. 


And some supermarkets and shops are asking people to keep wearing masks where possible. 

Read more >> All the latest reaction, rules and cases numbers as Essex unlocks on Freedom Day

The Prime Minister urged people not to “throw caution to the winds”.

The latest figures showed 48,553 more cases, the highest since January 15, while the 63 deaths were the biggest daily reported increase since March 26.

Mr Johnson has already acknowledged daily cases could hit 50,000 by “freedom day” on Monday and Health Secretary Sajid Javid said they could top 100,000 over the summer.


But the Prime Minister said the success of the vaccination programme meant they could go ahead with the final reopening of the economy.

“If we are careful and if we continue to respect this disease and its continuing menace then it is highly probable – almost all the scientists are agreed on this – the worst of the pandemic is behind us,” he said.


“There are difficult days and weeks ahead as we deal with the current wave of the Delta variant and there will be sadly more hospitalisation and more deaths but with every day that goes by we build higher the wall of vaccine-acquired immunity.”