Tuesday, November 30

Mayor of UK’s virus hotspot warns against scrapping restrictions

Boris Johnson is poised to announce that social distancing will be scrapped in England from 19 July as people will be asked to use their own judgement to manage the risk of Covid-19.

The prime minister will lead a Downing Street press conference on Monday where he will say that the country must learn to live with this virus amid concerns from scientists that the government is moving too fast with ending all restrictions.

It came as London mayor Sadiq Khan called for masks to remain mandatory on public transport and argued that this would be the simplest and safest policy over the coming weeks.

On Monday morning, care minister Helen Whately declined to say that Covid-19 was under control but argued that the government did not expect rising case rates to lead to a significant increase in hospitalisations due to the success of vaccines.

That’s a critical difference now: so yes cases are going to continue to rise for a period, but we simply aren’t seeing the same steep rise in hospitalisations as we’re seeing in the past because of the vaccination programme, Ms Whately said.