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‘If Not Now, When?’ Johnson Asks as England Ends Restrictions
Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain defended his decision to lift almost all of England’s pandemic restrictions in an address from his country house where he was in quarantine after a Covid-19 exposure.
If we don’t open up now, then we face a risk of even tougher conditions in the colder months when the virus has a natural advantage. We lose that firebreak of the school holidays. And there comes a point after so many have been vaccinated, when further restrictions no longer prevent hospitalizations and deaths, but simply delay the inevitable. And so we have to ask ourselves the question, if not now, when? And though both deaths and hospitalizations, as I say, are sadly rising, these numbers are well within the margins of what our scientists predicted at the outset of the roadmap. And so it is right to proceed cautiously in the way that we are. But it’s also right to recognize that this pandemic is far from over. And that’s why I’m afraid it is essential to keep up the system of test, trace and isolate. The continuing sacrifice of this large minority, those of us who are being asked to isolate, remains important to allow the rest of society to get back to something like normality.
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