Boris Johnson Says Plans To Ease Lockdown Are ‘Irreversible’
Boris Johnson has said the government’s plans to ease the country out of lockdown will be ‘cautious but irreversible’.
The PM is set to lay out a roadmap detailing the way out of lockdown on February 22, with the easing of restrictions beginning on March 8.
Johnson commented on the plans during a visit to a vaccination centre in Orpington, south-east London, where he discussed the possibility of school children being allowed to return to school.
He explained that ‘no decisions have been taken on that sort of detail yet,’ though stressed the reopening of schools has long been ‘a priority of the Government and of families up and down the country’.
We will do everything we can to make that happen but we’ve got to keep looking at the data, we’ve got to keep looking at the rates of infections.
Don’t forget they’re still very high, still 23,000 or so COVID patients in the NHS, more than in the April peak last year, still sadly too many people dying of this disease, rates of infections, although they’re coming down, are still comparatively high.
The prime minister went on to point out that the country has to be ‘very prudent’ in coming out of lockdown, but added the government wants to see ‘progress that is cautious but irreversible’. He continued: ‘I think that’s what the public and people up and down the country will want to see.’
Johnson expressed hopes the roadmap will include specific dates for lifting certain restrictions, though he noted he will not hesitate to ‘delay plans’ if necessary.
Just to help people think about what we’re trying to do on the 22nd, remember what we did… last year. We set out a roadmap going forward into the summer and looking a little bit beyond.
That’s what we’re going to be trying to do. And the dates that we’ll be setting out will be the dates by which we hope we can do something at the earliest.
If because of the rate of infection, we have to push something off and… delay for a little bit, we won’t hesitate to do that.
I think people would much rather see a plan that was cautious but irreversible and one that proceeds sensibly in accordance with where we are with the disease.
Johnson’s comments come after England reached a significant milestone yesterday, February 14, after having offered vaccines to everyone in the top four priority groups.