Boris Johnson to announce on Monday if lockdown can lift on July 5 as PM given crucial data to decide TODAY
BORIS Johnson's decision about whether to unlock early on July 5 will be announced on Monday, Downing Street confirmed this afternoon.
The PM is today poring over crucial data ahead of giving his crunch verdict next week.
🔵 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates
He is likely to crush hopes of bringing forward Freedom Day and stick with his "terminus date" of July 19.
When Mr Johnson announced his four-week delay to the roadmap last week he wrote in a two-week break point to allow wriggle room from an early release.
No10 said today a decision on whether to pull this trigger will be made on Monday.
The PM's spokesperson said: "Monday will be the day when we were deciding on the decision on that and we are closely monitoring the data, ahead of providing a full update.
"We will set out very clearly to the public, the rationale for the decision we've made."
When the PM announced a day to lockdown lifting, he said it would have a far bigger impact if ministers did it for four weeks.
And it would help get thousands more jabs into people's arms to get them better protected against Covid.
Nevertheless the PM will look in detail at the data – which is landing on his desk today – and seriously consider whether it might be possible to unlock any sooner.
Critics are calling on him to open up as soon as possible now the vulnerable are double vaccined and protected.
It came as:
- Matt Hancock refused to rule out further lockdown rules in winter – but said Freedom Day was on track as planned
- He pointed out that hospitalisations were "barely rising" and deaths stayed "very low"
- Ministers confirmed they were looking at plans to exempt people who had been double jabbed from quarantine roles
No10 said earlier that the PM told Cabinet that his roadmap was "irreversiable" and said he was looking at the data daily.
A spokesperson said: "Cabinet concluded with a discussion on our ongoing response to Covid-19.
"The Prime Minister reemphasised the government’s determination to ensure the roadmap is irreversible and said he was constantly reviewing the data on cases, hospitalisations and deaths ahead of a decision on Step 4."
Earlier Chancellor Rishi Sunak told MPs it is his "hope and expectation" that July 19 will see the end of Covid rules.
He said in the Commons: "By that point we will have done what we set out to do, which is to get extra jabs in more people's arms to provide us with that extra level of protection we were seeking."
Mr Sunak added: "The only sustainable way to protect those jobs is to get the economy reopened so those people can return to work and provide for their families."
Matt Hancock announced the particularly "encouraging" data over the past week means the country is now "on track" for the great reopening next month.
He said hospitalisations are "barely rising" despite the spiralling number of cases while deaths remain "very, very low".
But he warned the NHS faces an onslaught this winter because the flu will be back with a vengeance and the public's immunity to it is now low.
Asked whether there could be a return to lockdown in just a few months' time, Mr Hancock replied: "I hope we don't have to do that."
Source: Read Full Article