Sajid Javid says UK Government 'see no reason' for restrictions in England to go beyond July 19
Sajid Javid has insisted the UK Government “see no reason” for restrictions in England to go beyond July 19.
The new health secretary told MPs on Monday the nation had to “learn to live with” the virus and suggested there would be no further extension of the restrictions.
Step four of the UK Government’s road map for England states that all legal limits on social contact will be removed by July 19, having previously been extended from June 21.
The Scottish Government has been more cautious under the country’s own route map out of lockdown, aiming for all restrictions gone by August 9.
Making his first speech since replacing Matt Hancock, Mr Javid was upbeat about the restrictions finally ending.
He said: “While 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.
“We know we cannot simply eliminate it, we have to learn to live with it.
“We also know that people and businesses need certainty, so we want every step to be irreversible.
“And make no mistake, the restrictions on our freedom, they must come to an end.
“We owe it to the British people, who have sacrificed so much, to restore their freedoms as quickly as we possibly can 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.
“The Prime Minister has called it out ‘terminus date’. 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 the fightback against this pandemic, we must keep our resolve and keep on our road map to freedom so that together we can beat this pandemic and build back better.”
Responding, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said he wished Mr Hancock well in tackling his “personal difficulties”.
He said: “Can I just say at the outset that, despite our fierce political differences, that my dealings with the previous secretary of state were always courteous, respectful and professional.”
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