BORIS Johnson said today Covid cases need to come right down to ease the nation’s lockdown – or they will spike again and infect the elderly later.
The PM that the rate of infection was a key part of lifting the restrictions on the nation as he warned: “we want to see progress that is cautious but irreversible.”
Boris said he didn’t want to have to row back and force the nation into yet more shutdowns, so would be moving slowly to get the nation back to normal when he announces his plan next week.
He told reporters in a pooled clip today: “rates of infection, although they are coming down, are still high”, warning that high rates could mean vulnerable people were still at risk.
The PM said: “We would like to see the rates of infection come down very low indeed…
“We want to drive it right down, and keep it right down.
“People would much rather see a plan that is cautious but irreversible, and coordinates with where we are with the disease.”
He also said today:
- He would be putting dates in his roadmap, giving an early indicator of when shops, restaurants and pubs could reopen once again
- He refused to commit to reopening all schools on March 8 but said ministers would do everything
- Said that Brits wouldn’t need a vaccine passport to go to the pub – but may need one for a holiday
- The PM hailed the vaccine rollout as Britain moved on to the next phase of jabbing those over 65, carers and others with underlying conditions
On reopening schools he said no decisions had yet been made on whether to get all kids back at the same time, or stagger them in from March 8 but insisted: “we will do everything we can to make that happen”.
If possible, the PM said, we will be putting dates in his reopening plans.
Last summer he announced a slew of target dates to reopen the nation – which were stuck to in most places, except for some regional lockdown ones.
The PM admitted there would be “great interest” in vaccine passports for countries to show they would go abroad and that would “be veyr much in the mix” for the UK to take part in.
But he said: “I don’t think we will have vaccination passports to go to, say the pub – that would be going it a bit.”
Boris Johnson officially announced the start of the next phase of the vaccine rollout today.
It came as Health Secretary Matt Hancock vowed there was “no rest for the wicked” and said letters had already been sent out to millions more people.
One million over 65s are first on the list, alongside those with underlying health conditions.
The Sun revealed last week that those over 65 would be getting their letters from this week.
The PM tweeted today: “Today we start the next phase of our vaccination programme, with people aged 65-69 and the clinically vulnerable now being offered the jab.
“If you are over 70 and haven’t had your first jab yet, speak to your GP, book a slot online, or call 119.”
And at the same time the second jabs for those who have got their first vaccines will also take place.
There is still a “huge amount to do” to get the nation back to normal, he said earlier.
Mr Hancock told Sky News today: “There is a huge programme under way rolling out to invite the next group of people to be vaccinated and, at the same time, from next month we have the second jabs of all the people who have come since January to make sure they happen on time, because they have to be within a specific 12-week time period.
“So there is still a huge amount of work to do but we have managed to vaccinate those who are most vulnerable.”
Mr Hancock said efforts would be made to reach those who are in the top four priority groups but had yet to be given a jab.
Tom Watson who backed VIP sex ring fantasist made £200k since leaving politics