• July 11, 2021

England ‘tantalizingly close’ to easing lockdown restrictions, says Boris Johnson – POLITICO

England is “tantalizingly close” to easing most of its lockdown restrictions in a week, Boris Johnson said before a news conference on Monday in which he is expected to lay out the latest ideas from the government.

The UK prime minister, who aims to end most of the coronavirus restrictions in England on July 19, said in a statement released ahead of the press conference that caution on the part of the public remains “absolutely vital. “as the country prepares for a raise. in cases.

Johnson has vowed to remove social distancing rules in most settings, end the mandatory use of face covers and get rid of legal restrictions on gatherings, including weddings and funerals in England next week.

However, easing depends on meeting the government’s “four tests” to loosen COVID restrictions. Johnson’s press conference in Downing Street on Monday afternoon will expose the situation. Health Secretary Sajid Javid must also update parliament.

The four government tests are the continued success of the UK vaccination campaign; evidence that beatings are effective enough to reduce death and hospitalization among those who have received them; infection rates that are not at risk of an increase in hospitalizations that would overwhelm the National Health Service; and a judgment that the new variants of the coronavirus do not fundamentally alter the picture.

Johnson will present the latest data on Monday, with No. 10 warning Sunday night that COVID cases are expected to rise as restrictions are eased, and that hospitalizations, serious illnesses and deaths will continue “albeit at a level. much lower than before “vaccination. Program.

Just two-thirds (65.6 percent) of the UK’s adult population have received both doses of vaccines, according to the latest figures, and the government has already delayed a previously planned easing of restrictions by four weeks in June to allow more progress. . Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are destroying their own curbs on a different time scale.

“We are tantalizingly close to the final milestone on our roadmap out of lockdown, but the plan to restore our freedoms must come with a caveat,” Johnson said.

He added: “Cases will increase as we unblock ourselves, so when we confirm our plans today, our message will be clear. Caution is absolutely vital, and we must all take responsibility not to undo our progress, ensuring that we continue to protect our NHS. “.

The opposition Labor Party has questioned some elements of the government’s reopening strategy, arguing against eliminating the mandatory wearing of masks, even though it agreed that the lifting of restrictions should continue on July 19.

Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green warned Sunday that shifting to personal responsibility for masks was a “recipe for confusion” and “possibly a recipe for more confrontation.” She argued that it would be “much clearer and easier for the government to maintain the mandatory use of masks in public places after July 19.”

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