Covid UK: Boris Johnson says freedom Day on July 19 ‘looking good’

Vaccines are proving to be effective against the Delta wave of Covid (Picture: PA Wire/Getty)

Boris Johnson has said things are ‘looking good’ for freedom day to go ahead on July 19.

Speaking on what would have been the day all restrictions ended, the PM said the vaccine programme had given him fresh hope lockdown can finally finish in four weeks time.

But ministers have poured cold water on hopes that rules could come to an end earlier, on July 5.

Experts had suggested it is safe to act sooner as it appears the third wave of cases isn’t proving to be as bad as expected. But Mr Johnson appears focused on July 19, a date he’s christened ‘terminus day.’

Speaking this morning, the PM didn’t rule out the possibility of going back into lockdown over the winter as the country continues to battle the Covid crisis.

‘You can never exclude that there will be some new disease, some new horror that we simply haven’t budgeted for, or accounted for,’ the Prime Minister told reporters during a visit to a laboratory in Hertfordshire.

‘But looking at where we are, looking at the efficacy of the vaccines against all variants that we can currently see – so Alpha, Delta, the lot of them, Kappa – I think it’s looking good for July 19 to be that terminus point.

‘I think what the scientists are saying is that things like flu will come back this winter, we may have a rough winter for all sorts of reasons, and obviously there are big pressures on the NHS.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the The National Institute for Biological Standards, in South Mimms, Hertfordshire, Britain June 21, 2021. Jeremy Selwyn/Pool via REUTERS

Boris Johnson has been visiting The National Institute for Biological Standards (Picture: Reuters)

‘All the more reason to reduce the number of Covid cases now, give the NHS the breathing space it needs to get on with dealing with all those other pressures, and we are certainly going to be putting in the investment to make sure that they can.’

Earlier health secretary Matt Hancock was asked about the possibility that restrictions could end early after reports at the weekend said some experts had advised it was safe.

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘We are looking at the data, and we’ve said that we’ll take a specific look two weeks into the four-week delay that we had to put in place to get more people vaccinated, so we’ll do that.

‘But I have every confidence that the more people get vaccinated, the easier it is (and) the safer it is to lift restrictions.

People sit at outside tables to eat and drink at re-opened bars and restaurants, in the street in the Soho area of London, on April 16, 2021 following step two of the government's roadmap out of England's third national lockdown. - Britons on Apri l12 toasted a significant easing of coronavirus restrictions, with early morning pints -- and much-needed haircuts -- as the country took a tentative step towards the resumption of normal life. Businesses including non-essential retail, gyms, salons and outdoor hospitality were all able to open for the first time in months in the second step of the government's roadmap out of lockdown. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)

June 21 had initially been pencilled in for ‘freedom day’ (Picture: Getty)

‘We had to have the delay in order to get more people vaccinated, especially those second vaccines to protect people, we’re being careful, we’re being cautious.

‘But I have a high degree of confidence that this vaccine is going to get us out of this, and the more people who come forward, the easier that will be.’

Despite the more positive outlook on restrictions ending within the UK, the Prime Minister played down suggestions that restrictions on foreign travel could be lifted as more people received the coronavirus vaccine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the National Institute for Biological Standards in South Mimms, Hertfordshire. Picture date: Monday June 21, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard/PA Wire

Mr Johnson said things July 19 is ‘looking good’ (Picture: PA)

He said: ‘I want to stress that this is going to be – whatever happens – a difficult year for travel.

‘There will be hassle, there will be delays, I am afraid, because the priority has got to be to keep the country safe and stop the virus coming back in.’

He was also asked about reports the Government plans to scrap its triple lock pensions pledge – that guarantees state pensions will increase at least in line with inflation – to help fund the Covid recovery.

The Prime Minister said: ‘I’m reading all sorts of stuff at the moment which I don’t recognise at all about the Government’s plans.’

He added: ‘What we’re doing, and the single most important thing for the economy and indeed paying for the recovery, is to ensure that we continue cautiously but irreversibly to unlock and get our economy moving again.

‘That is the priority of the Government and we are working very hard on that. At the moment it still looks to me like July 19 is a terminus point and you can see what is happening already.

‘We are seeing employment up, jobs up, vacancies up – we’ve got a lot of demand now and we want to get things moving as fast as we possibly can, but in a sustainable way.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Bocoran Slot Gacor

Slot Gacor



Demo Slot