• Saturday, May 21, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

UK govt says July 19 'end of the line' for virus curbs

  • Published at 11:00 pm June 28th, 2021
UK Covid
A social distancing sign is seen amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), in Leicester, Britain, May 27, 2021 Reuters

Lifting restrictions will mark start of 'exciting new journey,' new UK health secretary says

The British government is intent on lifting all of England's coronavirus restrictions on July 19, Sajid Javid said Monday in his maiden speech to parliament as health secretary.

"We see no reason to go beyond 19th July," Javid told MPs as he sought to steady the government's pandemic response after his predecessor Matt Hancock resigned on Saturday.

The married Hancock quit after leaked security camera footage showed him breaking the social distancing laws he was urging the public to respect, by kissing a female adviser in his office.

Javid, who has previously served as finance and interior minister, was notably less cautious than Hancock on removing the restrictions, after the last stage was delayed.

"No date we choose comes with zero risk for Covid. Because we know we cannot simply eliminate it, we have to learn to live with it," he added.

"We also know that people and businesses need certainty, so I want every step to be irreversible. The restrictions on our freedom must come to an end..

"For me, July 19 is not only the end of the line but the start of a exciting new journey for our country."

Britain has been one of the worst affected countries in the world by the pandemic, registering some 128,000 deaths since the start of the outbreak.

Tough stay-at-home measures began to be lifted in March but Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to postpone a scheduled June 21 easing of all restrictions.

Concern has mounted about a surge in cases of the Delta variant first identified in India, even though nearly two-thirds of all UK adults have had two vaccine jabs.

Javid said the Delta strain now accounted for 95 percent of all positive cases.

Some 22,868 new cases were recorded on Monday, according to the latest government figures, up from 14,623 on Sunday.

The government said meanwhile it was investigating the camera footage leak that brought down Hancock, and denied newspaper claims that he had been awarding pandemic contracts using his private email address.

The camera was installed in the minister's office by the Department of Health, rather than being placed covertly, officials said.

In that case, opposition Labour party MP Chris Bryant said, Hancock "must be the stupidest man on Earth".

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail