England’s ‘freedom day’ will not be brought forward, the new Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, has confirmed calling July 19 the ‘end of the line’.
Speaking today, Monday June 28, to the House of Commons, Javid said the government has decided not to bring forward step four of Prime Minister’s roadmap.
He said: “Whilst we decided not to bring forward step four, we see no reason to go beyond July 19, because in truth no date we choose comes with zero risk for COVID.”
The Health Sec said the country is going to have to ‘learn to live’ with COVID-19 in order to give the public and businesses ‘certainty’.
“We know we cannot simply eliminate it [COVID-19], we have to learn to live with it,” he continued.
“We also know people and businesses need certainty, so we want every step to be irreversible and make no mistake the restrictions on our freedoms must come to an end for the British people who have sacrificed so much we must work to restore their freedoms and not to wait a moment longer than we need to.
“With the numbers heading in the right direction, all while we protect more and more people each day, July 19 remains our target date.”
Javid replaced Matt Hancock in his ministerial role after the latter resigned for breaking social distancing rules in order conduct an affair with his aide.
The Secretary of State confirmed the Prime Minister has called July 19 our ‘terminus date’ and called it the ‘end of the line’ for restrictions.
He said: “For me July 19 is not only the end of the line, but the start of an exciting new journey for our country. At this crucial moment in this pandemic we must keep our resolve and keep on our roadmap to freedom.”
Javid focused on the success of the vaccine rollout and uptake – calling the latter ‘sky high’ – as he said people are continuing to take up the vaccine offer regardless of age and now more than half of under-30s have had their first dose.
In his speech he said he wants to help the UK ‘return to economic and cultural life’ while also ‘protecting life and our NHS’, as one of his reasons for not bringing forward the ‘freedom day’.
He also said this has been made ‘all the more difficult by the Delta variant’ but, again, praised the vaccination programme and says this will be our way out of the pandemic.
We’re using this extra time to protect as many people as we can. We the gov took that decision