Covid-19: Boris encourages caution as regulations set to be lifted

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is anticipated to confirm later the plan to lift off almost all legal regulations on social contact in England on July 19.

However, ahead of a news conference on this afternoon, Mr Johnson has encouraged people to be careful.

“We must all take responsibility so we don’t undo our progress, ensuring we continue to protect our NHS,” he said.

Boris warned that Covid-19 cases, currently at about 30,000 a day, would keep on surging as society reopened.

The PM’s news conference will present the latest data, with Downing Street stating that current modelling indicates hospital admissions, serious illness and deaths from Covid-19 will continue, but at a lower level than before the vaccination programme.

Number 10 said the delay in moving to the final stage of the roadmap out of lockdown, initially slated for 21 June, had permitted an additional 6.8 million first and second vaccine doses to be given out so far.

Downing Street said the government had also shifted the expected end of restrictions closer to the school summer holidays when the transmission is likely to be lower.

Mr Johnson said: “We are tantalisingly close to the final milestone in our road map out of lockdown, but the plan to restore our freedoms must come with a warning.”

He said that vaccine roll-out had weakened the link between infections, hospital admissions and deaths, but added that the pandemic is “not over yet”.

With cases set to increase as restrictions are lifted, “caution is absolutely vital”, the prime minister emphasised.

As well as the news conference, Health Secretary Sajid Javid is expected to declare the plans in Parliament.

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