Boris Johnson has insisted he is “looking good” for the lifting of coronavirus restrictions on July 19 during a visit to a South Mimms lab.
The prime minister visited the National Biological Standards Institute on Monday amid rising cases and hospital admissions.
He told reporters that cases of the Delta coronavirus variant first identified in India were increasing by about 30% per week “hospitalizations were increasing by roughly the same amount and, unfortunately, intensive care admissions”.
“We have to be careful, but we will be monitoring the data all the time,” Mr Johnson said.
He remained convinced that July 19 would mark the end of the lockdown.
He said the date appeared to be the “end point” of England’s lockdown, but did not rule out the possibility that restrictions would be needed again if the country faced a “harsh winter”.
“You can never rule out that there will be a new disease, a new horror that we just haven’t budgeted for or factored in,” the prime minister told reporters.
“But looking at where we’re at, looking at the effectiveness of the vaccines against all the variants that we can currently see – so Alpha, Delta, a lot of them, Kappa – I think it looks like July 19 is this end point.
“I think what the scientists are saying is that things like the flu will come back this winter, we can have a tough winter for all kinds of reasons, and obviously there is great pressure on the NHS.
“All the more reason to reduce the number of Covid cases now, to give the NHS the breathing space it needs to deal with all of these other pressures, and we will certainly be investing to make sure they can. ”
The prime minister suggested the economy is poised to rebound as restrictions ease.
“We are seeing an increase in jobs, jobs, vacancies – now we have a lot of demand and we want to get things done as quickly as possible, but in a sustainable way. ”
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This notice was published: 2021-06-21 15:38:14