19th July is Freedom Day in England. From then legal restrictions to combat Covid are replaced by advice and guidelines. Stricter measures will apply in other parts of the UK.
So what might this mean for day-to-day television?
Well for Pres fans, the big change will be the return of the “normal” BBC One idents – at least in England.
The outdoor activities are no longer an apparent breach of the rules. However it is understood the indoor idents won’t be used for the moment as some of the sequences may show things which still breach guidance.
While this may be a welcome sign of normality, it is safe to say that the return of the normal Oneness idents will not lead to universal celebrations amongst Pres fans.
However their return is likely to be short-lived with plans underway for a BBC One rebrand in the coming months.
The other big question concerns live programming on all channels. Will presenters still stay 2 metres apart? Will guests on The One Show still be sitting in the corner? When will studio audiences start to return?
It’ll be worth looking out for these changes in the coming days.
Of course the easing of restrictions may start to make other productions less time-consuming. Will EastEnders finally return to normal 30-minute episodes soon?
In news, a couple of changes happened quietly recently which show some return to normality.
The BBC News at Ten is now generally running to a duration of about 27 minutes rather than 31. The regional bulletins which follow now last 7 minutes in England.
Meanwhile Newsnight moved back to 10.30pm with little fanfare.
Hopefully as restrictions ease broadcasting will generally get back to where it was early last March.
Indeed the only significant casualty may be the one which this website had long anticipated – UTV trails and continuity. Gillian Porter’s promise that she’d be back along with Julian Simmons “as soon as possible” proved impossible to keep.
But last March did anyone really imagine the length of the nightmare we were about to endure?