Good morning. England has reached what the anti-lockdown media has been calling “freedom day” – the day when most remaining authorized Covid restrictions disappear – however there is no such thing as a signal of the temper of triumphalism anticipated just a few weeks in the past, and as an alternative – in authorities, and amongst the general public at massive – there’s rising concern that it would possibly all go improper. The Mail on Sunday claimed that Boris Johnson initially deliberate to provide a speech at present that might, within the phrases of a authorities supply, “successfully declare victory over the virus by summoning the spirit of Churchill”. Clearly that isn’t taking place, and as an alternative yesterday Johnson issued a video message urging folks to be cautious. He mentioned:
So please, please, please be cautious. Go ahead tomorrow into the following step with all the suitable prudence and respect for different folks and the dangers that the illness continues to current.
On condition that consultants from world wide are criticising Johnson for being the alternative of cautious – “harmful and unethical” is the time period used here – in his opening up coverage, this may be a great instance of why some have concluded that solely the satirists describe this authorities correctly, and why the Press Award for political commentator of the yr final week went to my good colleague Marina Hyde.
Johnson used to say he wished lockdown easing to be cautious however irreversible. He has gone quiet on the “irreversible” bit just lately and the information launch issued by No 10 in a single day confirms that the potential return of restrictions later this yr is now a particular chance. It says:
Information shall be regularly assessed and contingency measures retained if wanted throughout larger danger intervals, however restrictions shall be averted if potential.
Johnson was deemed to have gained the 2019 normal election as a result of he was extra in contact with public opinion than his rivals, however on Covid restrictions the general public has persistently been rather more pro-lockdown than Johnson himself and new YouGov polling for the Times today (paywall) suggests that, by a margin of virtually two to at least one, folks suppose lifting most restrictions in England at present is improper.
Right here is the agenda for the day.
9.30am: The ONS publishes figures on the affect of Covid on the hospitality business.
12pm: Downing Road holds its each day foyer briefing.
2.45pm: Lord Frost, the Brexit minister, offers proof to the Commons European scrutiny committee.
3.30pm: Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccine deployment minister, offers an announcement to MPs. He’s anticipated to announce that the rollout of vaccination for youngsters in England shall be restricted to these with underlying well being situations or kids are about to show 18.
Politics Live has been a mixture of Covid and non-Covid information just lately and that’s more likely to be the case at present. For extra coronavirus developments, do observe our world Covid live weblog.
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