Politics

Covid restrictions will not be lifted till July 19, confirms Sajid Javidvid

The new Health Minister Sajid Javid has confirmed that the final Covid restrictions will not be lifted until July 19.

Javid, in his first Commons statement since replacing his disgraced predecessor Matt Hancock on July 5, announced the government’s decision not to advocate for an earlier relaxation of restrictions.

When the UK recorded 22,868 cases on Monday, the highest daily increase since January 30, Javid pointed out that hospital admissions had doubled since early May.

He said the government wanted the time to build additional protection against the more easily transmissible Delta variant by ensuring two-thirds of England’s adults received two doses of the vaccine before lifting restrictions.

“I spent my first day as Minister of Health yesterday looking at the data and testing it to the limit,” Javid told the House of Commons.

“Although we have decided not to bring step four forward, we see no reason to go beyond July 19th.

“Because in truth no date we have chosen is associated with zero risk for Covid.

“We know we can’t just get rid of it, we have to learn to live with it.

“We also know that people and companies need certainty, so we want every step to be irreversible.

“And make no mistake, the restrictions on our freedoms must come to an end.

“We owe it to the British people, who have sacrificed so much, to restore their freedoms as soon as possible and not to wait a moment longer than necessary.”

He added: “For me, July 19th is not just the end, but the beginning of an exciting new journey for our country.”

Previously, Javid said there will be “no going back” to Covid rules once the England lockdown is lifted.

Boris Johnson meanwhile said England was in favor of the final easing of restrictions on July 19, four weeks after the originally scheduled date of May 21.

It came when Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth said Junior Health Secretary Lord Bethell should follow Hancock through the exit door while both reportedly used private email accounts for government business.

“Can he tell us whether he will keep his confidence in this minister and is it not time that this particular health minister was also relieved of his ministerial duties?”

Javid replied, “I have such a fantastic team of ministers.

“Each and every one of them, it’s not even a matter of trust, it’s a group of ministers who are incredibly talented who have delivered in both this House and the Lords.”

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