London – AFP
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined Monday his plan to get England out of the lockdown he hopes will be the last, with the goal of reopening schools soon.
In early January, a new lockdown was imposed to combat the Covid-19 epidemic, which has killed 120,000 people in Britain, and brought hospitals to the brink of crisis.
After the effects of the “lockdown” and the vaccination campaign can be noticed, with fewer injuries, hospitalizations and deaths, Johnson intends to announce measures to ease the lockdown, and he will present them in the afternoon to Parliament before holding a televised press conference in the evening.
The vaccination campaign that began in December is well underway, with at least one dose given to one out of every three adults in the population.
The government promised that all adults would receive a first dose of the anti-corona vaccine by late July, announcing that this date, which was initially scheduled for September, would be brought forward.
However, Johnson stressed that despite the progress made, easing the closure would be “cautious” and “gradual.”
“Our priority has always been to return children to school, which is essential for their education, as well as for their mental and physical well-being,” he said in a statement.
He also hopes that this will allow people to “meet their relatives safely” after months of isolation, by allowing meetings abroad, where the risk of transmission of the virus is less.
Johnson emphasized that every decision will be taken based on available scientific elements and with caution “with the aim of not wasting progress” and “sacrifices.”
Schools will be able to reopen from March 8th.
For his part, the leader of the workers’ opposition, Keir Starmer, expressed his hope that schools would open their doors on this date “in an ideal” manner. However, he indicated on Sky News Sunday that the need to act “cautiously”.
Tightening measures at the border
And the government had previously announced that, starting from March 8, residents of nursing homes will be able to receive one visitor inside, provided that the latter has undergone an examination to detect Covid-19 and puts a mask.
This good news comes after the success of the first phase of the vaccination campaign, with 15 million people receiving the first dose in mid-February, including those in nursing homes.
Since then, the campaign has expanded to include people over the age of 65 and “vulnerable” people, and by mid-April, all people over the age of 50 should have received their first dose of the vaccine.
Scientists consider that vaccines begin to provide protection approximately three weeks after the injection.
While families hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel, some economic sectors, especially those severely affected by the epidemic, such as hotels and restaurants, may have to wait a few additional weeks.
Reducing the added tax
The Labor party is defending a reduction in value-added tax to help some sectors. “Businesses must be supported to ensure their viability,” said Kerr Starmer.
In the United Kingdom, which is one of the European countries most affected by the epidemic, each of the four provinces in the country decides its strategy in the area of easing the closure, and in Scotland and Wales, schools will gradually reopen their doors from Monday, starting from the elementary grades.
With the preparation to ease the closure measures, the government tightened control measures at the border to avoid the introduction of mutated copies of the virus, and since last Monday, residents of Britain and Irish citizens coming to England from 33 classified dangerous countries must undergo a ten-day quarantine in a hotel at their expense. .
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