Boris Johnson has been outlining the changes in covid laws coming on the 19th July. He’s been speaking during a news conference in Downing street.
He says “We cannot simply revert instantly to life as it was before COVID” The virus, he said, “still carries risks for you and your family”.
He says he believes now is the right moment to open up the country. “It is better to open up now than in winter” but the PM added it is “vital to proceed with caution”.
Return to work gradually is the message and we “can’t expect everyone will return to desk as one from Monday”. You should continue to wear face masks in crowded indoor settings and get vaccinated. Contact tracing will stay in place and so will a ‘tough border control policy’
Professor Chris Whitty says there “is an expectation the number of deaths will go up in the current wave” The chief medical officer says the current wave is going at a similar rate to the autumn wave However he did say that hospital admissions are rising at a “slower exponential rate”.
The PM says restrictions will only be imposed again under “exceptional circumstances”, like a “new variant we haven’t bargained for”. Sir Patrick Vallance says that officials should act “before things get really bad”.
Sir Patrick Vallance tell us that there is no doubt there is going to be a rise in infections.
You still must self-isolate if you have Covid and get a test if you think you might have it.
And If behaviour returns immediately to pre-pandemic levels, that would be a very very big rise,. The risk of dying from covid after vaccination is 10 times lower BUT it “does still exists”.
Sky’s political editor Beth Rigby says the government messaging is changing – and that Boris Johnson will “probably regret” using the word “irreversible” as you cannot control new variants.