PM Boris Johnson warns more Covid-19 deaths as England eases lockdown
PM Boris Johnson warned more people will die of Covid-19 as England eases its restrictions while adding that it has been the lockdown and not the vaccine rollout that has driven down rates of infection.
Boris Johnson urged England to be cautious and still follow social distancing rules. After pubs, restaurants and non-essential retail opened yesterday.
Covid-19 rates in the UK are currently at their lowest point since August, with 19,209 cases recorded in the past 7 days – a 21.5 per cent week-on-week drop.
Last week also saw 238 deaths – a 4 per cent weekly decline.
The PM spoke to Sky News, speaking of the role of lockdowns in England.
“It’s very important for everyone to understand the reduction in these numbers and hospitalisations and in deaths and infections has not been achieved by the vaccination programme,
people don’t appreciate that it’s the lockdown that has been overwhelmingly important in delivering this improvement in the pandemic and in the figures we’re seeing.
“The vaccination programme has helped, but the bulk of the work in reducing the disease has been done by the lockdown. So as we unlock the result will inevitably be that we will see more infections, we will see more hospitalisations and deaths and people just have to understand that.”
Yesterday, England reopened thousands of pubs and restaurants for the first time since December for outdoor patrons, sparking celebrations in London and beyond.
Central London’s retail stores saw long queues – with masses of young shoppers.
Indoor hospitality, theatres, cinemas and museums are set to reopen on 17 May, according to Johnson’s roadmap.
The roadmap then sets out 21 June as the planned date when England will shed most or all restrictions.
“At the moment I can’t see any reason for us to change the roadmap, to deviate from the targets we’ve set themselves and you know what they are 17 May, 21 June are the next waymarks on the roadmap,” he said.
“It is very very important that if we’re to get there in the way we all want then we continue to be cautious and we continue to exercise restraint and do the basic things to stop the spread of the virus.
“Washing your hands, giving people space, doing things in fresh air as much as you can.”
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