Pressure is mounting on ministers to postpone the final exit from the lockdown amid sharply rising infections, with an expert warning on Sunday of a “substantial third wave of Covid infections”.
Boris Johnson is now expected to announce a four-week deadline for lifting all remaining restrictions, at a press conference in Downing Street on Monday.
Critical goal is to ‘get out of lockdown irreversibly,’ Raab told the BBC Spectacle d’Andrew Marr, everything except confirm the delay.
“I think the vast majority of people in the country, but also in parliament, understand this. We don’t want to yo-yo in and out of measures, ”he said.
The foreign minister also dismissed fears that vaccines would be less effective against the Delta variant – even after 14 people died, two weeks after receiving their second vaccine.
“It takes 3 weeks, not 2 weeks, to have the full impact of vaccines, so I’d be a little careful before quoting statistics out of context like that,” he said.
Hospitality executives have already reacted furiously to the prospect of a postponement, with thousands of events due to be canceled and the risk of a second consecutive summer without major music festivals.
Theaters and sporting events will likely see their attendance still capped at 50% capacity, with social distancing and table service only in pubs and the “rule of six” in people’s homes.
Faced with strong opposition from the Conservatives to postponing the roadmap, Mr. Raab was asked if the Prime Minister could “hold the Conservative Party together”, but replied: “Yes”.
Earlier in the program, SAGE adviser Professor Andrew Hayward said he believed the UK would see a ‘substantial third wave of Covid infections’ amid the spread of the Delta variant.
“The very big question is to what extent this wave of infections will translate into hospitalizations,” he said.
“The fact that 55% of the adult population is doubly vaccinated means that it would be significantly less serious than it could have been, but we do not know exactly how serious it could be,” he said. he declares.
Epidemiologist Sian Griffiths said the delay seemed increasingly “necessary”.
“The public health advice would be to take it slowly and steadily so that we can maintain the progress we’ve made,” she said. “I think it’s necessary to wait a little longer to keep the progress going, but it might not be all or nothing Freedom Day,” Griffiths said.