BORIS Johnson has announced that, in England, almost all of the rules put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19 will be scrapped from July 19.

Johnson’s move will see compulsory face masks and social distancing ditched, and all businesses and events, including stadiums and nightclubs, allowed to fully open.

The plan will make England the least restricted country in Europe, although cases may hit 50,000 a day before the date even arrives and 100,000 a day once the country enters such “uncharted territory”.

Trade unionists have accused a “gung ho” Prime Minister of “gambling with people's lives”, and health experts warn the Tories are planning what amounts to “a nationwide pox party, except that this virus kills people”.

READ MORE: Tories are gambling our kids' health with a chickenpox-style Covid party

However, Douglas Ross has joined his London bosses in pushing the idea, saying: “People die from a number of ailments all the time and we have to learn to live with Covid-19 as it is going to be with us going forward.”

Internationally, the news has been met with a mix of attitudes. Some suggest England must brace for far worse deaths, while others are interested in how the experiment will turn out.

Here’s how some of the world’s top media outlets reported on Boris Johnson’s announcement:

Der Spiegel, Germany:

“Spinnen die Briten?” - in an apparent reference to Asterix and Obelix, this German publication asks: “Are the British crazy?”

In fact, it says, there are good reasons for a return to normalcy. In a separate article it points to the “significantly weakened” link between infection and hospitalisation thanks to the vaccine roll-out.

It also highlights the staggering rise of the Delta variant and “massive” criticism from opposition, unions, and transport companies but adds: “Nevertheless, Johnson has announced the end of the measures.”

Le Monde, France:

This French paper of record opens its report saying: “Le variant Delta? Même pas peur…” which translates to “The Delta variant? Not even afraid...”.

After outlining the raft of restrictions which will be scrapped, it goes on: “And too bad if 27,334 positive cases for the coronavirus - now more than 90% of cases of the Delta variant - have still been recorded over the last twenty-four hours in the country, an increase of 53.2% over seven days.”

France recorded 796 new cases of Covid on July 5.

The Irish Times, Ireland:

“Boris Johnson again makes England a Covid outlier in Europe”, the paper’s headline reads.

The article goes on: “[Johnson’s] MPs are cheering now but they will need strong nerves in the weeks ahead when cases surge even higher and the daily death count, currently in low double digits, begins to edge upwards to newsworthy levels.”

Elsewhere the paper also makes clear that Irish eyes will be on England’s experimental opening, with the nation’s Transport Minister reported as saying his government would not be “throwing the doors open” like Johnson, but that health data from the UK would be significant in determining how plans could evolve.

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar (below) made clear he did not agree with the decision to implement a total reopening of society, saying: “The prospect of packed theatres in the West End and nightclubs being packed to the rafters concerns me to be quite honest. It will have an impact for Ireland.”

The National: Leo Varadkar

The Age, Australia:

This paper said that the “UK is now a test tube and the world will be watching”.

Noting how differing rules between devolved administrations such as London’s may sow confusion, it says England will be the “first time any major country tests what happens when unrestricted community transmission meets widespread vaccination coverage”.

It hopes the experiment will be a success however, and offer a route-map out of their own lockdown and others around the world.

El Pais, Spain:

In the UK, "infections of the Delta variant (from India) of the virus continue to skyrocket,” El Pais reports. Spain is currently recording around the same number of cases in a week as the UK does in a day, according to WHO figures.

The paper says there is “still a margin of caution” to Johnson's announcement, as the final decision has not yet been made, but adds that many top Tories are repeating the same mantra: “There is no going back.”

“Citizens ‘must learn to live with this virus as they do with the flu’,” it quotes new Health Secretary Sajid Javid (below) as saying.

The National: New Health Secretary Sajid Javid responds to questions following his statement on his coronavirus plans in the House of Commons, London.

Washington Post, USA:

The Post’s article begins now with a correction, saying that it is not “Britain” which will be dropping all restrictions, but England - Der Spiegel may want to take note.

The paper then focuses on Johnson’s switch from "government legal diktat" to a Covid approach based on "personal responsibility”.

“If you want to crowd into a packed bar in Soho and fight the scrum for a pint at the counter, the government says it is up to you to decide whether to mask”, it reports.

“Britain may arguably be in the middle of a third wave of infections, with new cases soaring to 25,000 a day, twice the number seen in the much larger United States.”

Focus is given to experts critical of the move, with one comparing the complete easing of restrictions to building “variant factories” and another accusing the UK Government of a “gross failure of leadership”.