Britain’s Johnson to confirm England unlock will continue – .

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Britain’s Johnson to confirm England unlock will continue – .


LONDON – All remaining lockdown restrictions in England will be lifted within a week despite a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday. He said it was “the right time to continue” as schools closed for summer vacation, but urged people to “proceed with caution”.

Johnson said while the risks of a pandemic remain, legal restrictions will be replaced with a recommendation that people wear masks in crowded places and on public transport. Nightclubs and other frequented places should use vaccine passports to enter “within the framework of social responsibility,” he added.

“This pandemic is not over. This disease, the coronavirus, continues to pose risks to you and your family. We can’t just instantly revert Monday, July 19 to life as it was before COVID, ”Johnson said.

The latest step in easing England’s lockdown means all restrictions on social gatherings will be removed and social distancing measures will be removed. Nightclubs may reopen for the first time since March of last year, and there will be no more limits for people attending concerts, theaters, weddings or sporting events.

Earlier, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it was the right time to allow the British to return to normal life. The government’s decision balances the damage from COVID-19 and the damage from the continued restrictions, he said.

Javid told Parliament that the successful rollout of the vaccine in Britain means that nine in ten adults in the UK now have antibodies to the virus. The government is on track to meet its goal of providing all adults with a first dose of vaccine by July 19, when all remaining lockdown restrictions, including mandatory mask wear, must be lifted.

As of Monday, 87% of the UK’s adult population had received their first dose and 66% had received both doses. At the same time, infections have skyrocketed in recent weeks, reaching more than 30,000 new cases per day, driven by the delta variant.

Javid said that while new infections could reach 100,000 a day later in the summer, two doses of the vaccine offer effective protection against serious illnesses caused by the virus and officials believe that the increase in the number of cases will not exert “unbearable pressure” on hospitals.

Waiting longer to lift restrictions risks the virus spreading to a peak in the fall and winter, when children return to school and hospitals are most likely to be overwhelmed by seasonal infections Javid and Johnson said.

“There will never be a perfect time to take this step, because we simply cannot eradicate this virus – whether we like it or not, the coronavirus will not go away,” Javid said.

Many of the infections have occurred in younger people who have not yet received a first dose of the vaccine. The government does not yet intend to offer vaccines to children under the age of 18.

The UK government believes that the vaccine rollout has mainly broken the link between infections and people requiring hospitalization. The number of people requiring hospitalization or dying from COVID-19 has remained low and broadly stable, although it has increased slightly in recent days.

Still, concerns over the rapid increase in cases have pressured the government to take a more cautious approach to lifting the restrictions.

Jonathan Ashworth, opposition Labor Party health spokesperson, said Javid’s plan was akin to “putting his foot on the accelerator while throwing off the seat belts”. And Stephen Griffin, associate professor at Leeds University School of Medicine, called the move an irresponsible gamble.

“I am stunned that public health can be left to individual choice when, in the case of infectious diseases, it is actually the epitome of collective responsibility,” Griffin said. “The government’s messages on restrictions are currently an outright oxymoron in urging caution while simultaneously allowing all guidelines to be lifted. “

Peter Openshaw, a member of a group that advises the government on new and emerging respiratory viruses, said it was essential to keep some protective measures in place, such as wearing masks.

“I really don’t see why people are reluctant to wear face coverings, it’s pretty clear that they drastically reduce transmission,” he told BBC radio. “The vaccines are great, but you have to give them time to work. “

The UK government, which has imposed one of the longest shutdowns in the world, has lifted restrictions for England in a series of measures that began with the reopening of schools in March. The fourth and final stage was delayed last month to allow time for more people to get vaccinated amid the rapid spread of the delta variant.

Other parts of the UK – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – are following their own, broadly similar, roadmaps out of lockdown.

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