‘Amazing and promising progress’ towards June 21 lockdown easing, says Gavin Williamson


opes jumped on Wednesday that lockdown will be fully eased on June 21 after a Cabinet minister hailed “amazing and promising progress” in the battle against Covid-19.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson stressed Britain’s vaccine programme was already transforming the lives of millions of people.

He also urged people to continue to come forward to get the jab.

Asked what the feeling was at Cabinet level in Government about the June 21 ending of restrictions, he told LBC Radio: “There is a sense that there has been really amazing and promising progress that has been made.

“The roll-out of the vaccine is having an impact on everyone’s lives.”

He added: “You’re right to say it is about data, not dates, but the vaccines are having an impact in terms of actually reducing transmission, reducing the number of people in hospital and it is these factors that are going to guide the decision.

“But we need to continue to urge people to be cautious and to be careful but most importantly to get their jab.”

He also heaped praise on the public in the UK for taking up the jab, unlike some other countries such as France where there is widespread vaccine hesitancy.

“The fact that the British people have gone out there with verve and gusto and actually got vaccinated when so many other nations have not had that same level of take-up is a real credit.

“We continue to be careful and we’ve got to make sure we continue to get vaccinated.”

Several leading scientists have urged the Government to consider delaying the final easing of lockdown on June 21, which would see the end of social distancing, warning of the risks from the B1.617.2 variant first identified in India, now also being called the Delta variant.

However, ministers, also wary of the impact of retaining restrictions particularly on the hospitality and tourism sectors during the summer, have sounded more upbeat that the roadmap out of lockdown will go ahead as planned.

A decision is expected by June 14.


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