Friday, February 26, 2021

Boris Johnson’s plan for a return to normal at the end of June in the UK


The British Prime Minister presented a plan on Monday to gradually relax the containment in force since January.

An exit with careful steps. Boris Johnson unveiled his roadmap on Monday to release the confinement in force in England since January 5. The lifting of the constraints will begin on March 8, with a possible return to normal at the end of June. A strategy that aims to be “ prudent ” to be “ irreversible “, a “ one way road to freedom ».

« We cannot persist indefinitely with restrictions that weaken our economy, our mental and physical well-being The Prime Minister told parliamentarians, presenting a four-step plan for England. A period of five weeks will separate each stage, to ensure that the epidemic does not flare up again. Each time, the green light will only be given if the “ scientific elements “- as the effectiveness of anti-Covid vaccines and the decline in hospitalizations – allow.

The deconfinement will begin with the reopening of schools on March 8, a stated priority of the government. On the second part of “ socialization », Two people from different households will be able to meet outdoors from the same date, an authorization extended to 6 people from March 29. The instruction of “ Stay at home (Stay at home) will then be lifted. It wasn’t until a month later, on April 12, that there were plans to reopen non-essential stores and hair salons. Pubs and restaurants – but only outdoors – will also be able to reopen their doors at this time, as will museums.

Massive and rapid vaccination campaign

New stage on May 17, with the reopening of hotels, indoor catering, cinemas and stadiums (with a maximum capacity of 10,000 people). Indoor meetings with people from different homes will also be allowed. If the health situation allows, the restrictions limiting social contact can be lifted on June 21 at the earliest, the date on which the complete reopening of the economy could be effective with the end of the teleworking instruction. The ban on international travel will not be lifted before May 17. A system allowing vaccinated people to travel more freely abroad is also being studied.

This deconfinement will be triggered because all the indicators have improved, under the double effect of restrictions and vaccinations. The number of daily infections fell to some 11,000 per day, from a peak of 80,000 at the end of December. The numbers of hospitalizations and deaths are also in decline. At the beginning of the year, the appearance of a more contagious variant had raised fears of the submersion of hospitals, which had caused the third confinement. With more than 120,000 dead, the United Kingdom is the hardest-hit country in Europe and ranks 5th in the world in terms of victims of Covid.

The Johnson government has staked everything on a massive and rapid vaccination campaign. Some 17.6 million Britons have already received a first dose, or one in three adults. By mid-April, everyone over 50 should be partially vaccinated and the goal is for all adults to have had a first injection by the end of July. “ I fundamentally believe the immunization program was a game-changer in our favor », Underlined the Prime Minister. And this, while he thinks “ that there is no credible road to a Britain without Covid, or even to a world without Covid ».

Boris Johnson faces double pressure. On the one hand, the scientists who warn him of the risks of a resurgence of the virus if it is released from confinement too quickly. On the other, many voices from the Conservative Party urging it to ease restrictions as quickly as possible to revive the economy. They do not understand his slow process of deconfinement when almost all of the people at risk are now vaccinated. “ If all the elderly or vulnerable, accounting for over 90% of severe cases and deaths are protected, why continue to lock down people’s lives and the economy? », Comments a former minister.

For him, Boris Johnson has gone from total casualness, when he boasted of shaking hands with everyone at the start of the pandemic, to being overly cautious. Certain border control measures – hotel quarantines for a red list of countries or accumulation of tests – also leave him skeptical: “ It is political gesticulation, low demagoguery to flatter a popular electorate. »


SEE ALSO – The UK is committed to sharing “the majority of its surplus»Of Covid-19 vaccines to poor countries



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