“Difficult days to come” but England’s “freedom day” is a “good” decision
A government minister told ITV News on current wave of Covid infections sweeping the country may not peak until “late August, maybe even early September”.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick warned of “difficult days ahead” with an increase in cases and hospitalizations.
He was speaking less than 24 hours before the majority of Covid restrictions in England relaxed in stage 4 of lockdown easing, otherwise known as “freedom day”.
It comes as a senior science adviser warned it was “almost inevitable” that coronavirus infections would hit 100,000 cases daily alongside 1,000 people admitted to hospital per day.
Coronavirus: what you need to know – listen to the latest episode
Mr Jenrick said it was still ‘right’ to move forward with easing the lockdown in England.
He told ITV News that both tests – fully immunizing two-thirds of the adult population and offering at least one vaccine to all adults nationwide – had been satisfied.
But there are words of caution among scientists and health experts that warn that an irreversible loosening of the lockdown could see infections increase.
When asked where the country is heading amid the lifting of restrictions, Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told The Andrew Marr Show from the BBC: “It’s very hard to say for sure, but I think 100,000 cases a day are almost inevitable. “
He stressed that the easing of measures coincided with the start of the school holidays, which will likely see contact rates among adolescents “decline”.
While stressing that it was “very difficult to make precise predictions,” Professor Ferguson said: “I think it is almost certain that we will reach 1,000 hospitalizations per day.
Lockdown rules in England: what changes from July 19
Will I still need to wear a face mask?
There will be no legal requirement to wear face covers during the final step of unlocking – but the guidelines will still encourage the use of masks in certain settings, including hospitals, healthcare facilities, and in public spaces. closed and crowded.
Will working from home change?
Advice on working from home will disappear. It is ultimately up to employers to decide whether to keep staff at home or in the office, but the government says employers are able to plan for the return of staff to the workplace.
What about weddings and funerals?
Current limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other life events will end on July 19.
What is happening in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?
The changes to the Covid rules announced by Boris Johnson, only impact England and will not change the regulations in Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland.
The Welsh government ‘would like to move forward together’ with other parts of the UK to lift restrictions on coronaviruses, but will only do so if it is ‘good for Wales’, said Health Minister Eluned Morgan on Monday July 5.
The Scottish government has delayed the full-scale reopening of July 19 when they planned to move to all areas level 0. They aim to lift all major restrictions in Scotland by August 9.
In Northern Ireland, some important restrictions have already been relaxed, in particular by allowing the resumption of live music and the lifting of ceilings on gatherings organized in the open air. The regulations will be revised on or before July 8.
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“It will almost certainly reach 100,000 cases per day. The real question is, can we double that or even more? And this is where the crystal ball starts to fail. We could end up with 2,000 hospitalizations per day, 200,000 cases per day per day, but it is much less certain. “
Although the majority of the adult population has been vaccinated, question marks remain about the extension of the vaccine to those under the age of 18.
Mr Jenrick said the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) will soon advise ministers on childhood immunizations.
He told Sky News’s Trevor Phillips Sunday show: “We will carefully consider their advice when we get it – we look forward to it very soon – on whether or not to open the immunization program in the first place to people. children who are just before their 18th birthday, children who have special vulnerabilities and children who live in households where there are particularly vulnerable people.
“It sounds like a sensible way for us to proceed, but ministers will have to make that decision when they are armed with the JCVI’s final advice. “
It comes in the middle confusion after the government’s screaming turnaround over whether Boris Johnson and Rishi Suna would be self-insulating after contact with the NHS Test and Trace.
The two were “nuts” after Health Secretary Sajid Javid tested positive for the virus.
Initially, the government said the two were partially exempt as they were part of a pilot program that allowed them to continue essential activities.
Just three hours later, however, a second statement was released saying the two would now be fully isolated.