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We will be updating this area after each of the Downing Street briefings, which are currently happening three times a week. Scroll down for the latest updates, or seeing older updates below.
The prime minister held a press conference today with Sir Patrick Vallance, chief scientific advisor, and Jonathan Van Tam, deputy chief medical officer. Sir Patrick Vallance presented the slides. He said that there are risks to opening up. These are:. I have been vaccinated in EU, I can't get the covid pass - what are people going to do to help me? JVT: awareness about this issue and there is a lot of work to sort this out, needs to be done rationally and carefully. What is the of of covid cases for those who have had their jabs? BBC: Are you giving people and ultimatum - get vaccinated, otherwise e you can't go places; super spreader events - re you worried?
Johnson: young people have put up with a lot, more people to get vaccinated will help. Get the vaccine. Scientists: Indoor areas are more likely to have potential for super spreading. Johnson: we "hope" the roadmap is irreversible. If there are new variants we might need to respond to them Why give 10 weeks until you stop mass spreading? Scientists: Timing of the peak is uncertain.
We want to see some decrease in the trajectory. Want to see this coming down by September as return to schools would see a pressure. Reason why modellers tell us that there is uncertainty, human behaviours, it is in everybody's hands. The Sun: JVT: what's your response to images of packed beaches, and parks and nightclubs etc, are we already tearing the pants out of it? PM why did you believe you were above the rules? Vaccine passports - will you need to show them to get a pint in the pub? NI or income tax? Does your manifesto pledge still stand not to raise either?
JVT: some areas are under pressure, people are worried. Johnson: I didn't think I am above the rules. On pubs, don't want to get a situation where people have to produce papers to go anywhere. NI and income tax - on social care. We waited three decades, you need to wait a bit longer, wont be long now. FT: do we have enough lateral flow and PCR tests?
Will nightclubs need to close? On night clubs JVT said that young people like socialising, and partying, they have also made sacrifices this year to lockdown etc. Sympathy with this. Huff Po: Whitty said they s could get pretty scary; what would be the restriction you would apply if they got scary? But today is when society opens up. Knock on affect won't be known for a few weeks.
Close contact is the riskiest thing. The prime minister held a press conference today with Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, and Sir Patrick Vallance, chief scientific advisor on the easing of restrictions on 19 July. Yesterday in a statement to the House of Common's the secretary of state for health and social care announced new guidance to support the move to step four of the roadmap.
Bbc on that Deal needing some head asap Whitty talked through the government's four tests and explained how they had been met. As restrictions are lifted, what criteria will be used to decide if restrictions should return in future? Johnson: we will keep data under review. If we see exceptional circumstances then we must rule nothing out.
Vallance: For delta — no absolute figures. What about double jabbed public? Johnson: want to get NHS back to working in a pre-covid way - you need to wait a bit for the health secretary to set this out. Vallance: we are in third wave of infection, they are rising rapidly.
Risk of hospitalisation is fourfold lower, but it does still exist.
Whitty: exit wave will happen anyway. On the NHS staff side, this is being discussed. We are trying to balance two things.
Potential danger to patients; but also dangerous not to have enough staff. LBC: expecting people to wear masks? For other things we have proper rules, why not this? Backlog - are you concerned? Johnson: on the issue of masks, we are following the same principle. We are moving towards personal responsibility. That applies to social distancing. Whitty - NHS has been trying to reduce backlogs.
There is some ificant degree of overhang from last year. There is pressure from covid and that is likely to increase. Whitty: avoid crowded areas when you can, get vaccinated etc. Hand face space etc. Please self isolate if you test positive. Ventilation is a priority. Daily Mirror: peak of third wave deaths a day - is that acceptable price to play?
Should people take the knee? Johnson: There is not an optimal time. The reality is that both deaths and hospitalisations are going to rise whenever you go for unlocking, there will be an exit wave. On taking the knee: people should feel free to show their respect and I condemn the behaviour seen yesterday.
How should people go about unlocking? World cup bid - how can we go ahead with this after scenes that we saw yesterday? Johnson: important thing is to take up vaccines. World cup - we have a good case together with Ireland, shame that a small minority tried to spoil things.
Patrick Vallance presented the slides :. Data will come out over the next few months. CW : Working out relative protection for children. Children have much lower rate of severe outcomes from COVID and therefore need even greater confidence of the safety as the risk-benefit may be more marginal.
BBC : How bad do you expect it to get after lifting restrictions? Confident that hospitals can cope? Will you continue to wear a mask? PM : Be cautious and will look at data. Always did say there would be a third wave.
If not going ahead now then when? Risk of opening up at a difficult time in the winter or next year. No final decision until 12 July. Wearing a mask will depend on the circumstances — moving from government diktat to personal responsibility but remember the value of face coverings. CW : NHS is an emergency service — on one level, it will cope with anything.
But depends on doubling time for hospital admissions. Would continue to wear a mask as the epidemic is rising when indoors and close to other people. Masks protect other people. Would wear mask if required by an authority and if someone was uncomfortable as a common courtesy. Mask wearing has a particular advantage to use indoors.
ITV : Why not finish vaccinating all adults before unlocking? Why are you ignoring scientific advice on mask wearing? CW : Decisions are made by ministers. Scientific consensus that some social distancing will be needed to maintained. At some point only delaying of deaths not averting them. Sky : Cautious but irreversible easing of restrictions. Not cautious but reckless? No commitment to irreversibility?
May be necessary to introduce some more restrictions over the winter? Will unlocking mean more restrictions in the winter be more or less likely? PM : Striking the right balance, moving to personal responsibility. Pandemic is far from over. Do not want people to get mob happy — very far from the end of dealing with this virus.
If another variant does not respond to the vaccine, then clearly will have to take steps to protect the public. The I : En masse school closures and vaccinating children? PM : Doing everything possible to minimise damage to children, moving away from sending bubbles home in school. Working from home and economy at end of roadmap?Bbc on that Deal needing some head asap
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Bbc on that Deal needing some head asap