Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country is “right to proceed cautiously in the way that we are” as almost all legal Covid restrictions are lifted in England, but added that the “pandemic is far from over”.
The Prime Minister gave an update regarding Covid during a press conference on ‘Freedom Day’ in England (Mon 19 July), where he joined from his self-isolation at Chequers.
He said that if the country doesn’t open up now, we “face the risk of tougher conditions during colder months.”
Mr Johnson added: “There comes a point after so many have been vaccinated when further restrictions no longer prevent hospitalisations and deaths but simply delay the inevitable.
“So we have to ask ourselves the question: if not now, when?”
'I know how frustrating it is for all those who have been affected or pinged'
The Prime Minister also expressed the importance of the NHS Test and Trace app, which is currently ‘pinging’ people and asking thousands to self-isolate as Covid cases continue to rise.
He said the requirement to self-isolate is the “consequence of living with Covid.
“I know how frustrating it is for all those who have been affected or pinged,” Mr Johnson said, as he added that those identified as contacts were “at least five times more likely to be infected than others.”
He said: “Even if they have been vaccinated there is a significant risk that they can still pass the disease on.
“And so as we go forward I’m afraid that the continuing sacrifice of this large minority, those of us who have been asked to isolate, remains important to allow the rest of society to get back to something like normality.
“I’m afraid that at this stage it’s simply a consequence of living with Covid and opening up when cases are high in the way that we are.”
The Prime Minister also noted that only 35% (3 million) of 18-30 year olds are completely unvaccinated and that mandatory requirements to be fully jabbed to enter crowded places such as nightclubs could be brought into place by September.