BBC QT: Boris urged not to delay June 21 release date – ‘Can’t keep us locked up forever!’
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The final stage of the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown is pencilled in for June 21. The date will see the removal of social contact limits and the opening of nightclubs and large events. However, in recent days the Government has faced mounting pressure to delay the final stage, due to fears about the spread of the Indian (Delta) variant throughout the UK.
During a heated debate about the release date, an audience member urged Mr Johnson to stick to his plan and avoid any further delays.
He said: “We are a country of around 66.5 million.
“There is always going to be new variants. What about mental health?
“You can’t keep us locked up forever. We have to be released at some point.”
A growing number of scientists have called on the Prime Minister to consider postponing step four of the roadmap.
Professor Gupta from Cambridge University told the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 earlier in the week that the UK could already be in the grip of a third Covid wave.
The member of the Government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) said ending restrictions in June should be delayed “by a few weeks whilst we gather more intelligence”.
It is a sentiment shared by virologist Dr Stephen Griffin, an associate professor in the school of medicine at the University of Leeds.
He told Sky News he was “very worried” about the Government’s plans to fully open up on June 21.
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Dr Griffin pointed out that cases continued to increase exponentially and hospitalisations were also rising.
He added: “Whilst vaccines have proven highly effective in protecting groups that have received both doses, it is the case that a significant proportion of adults along with children remain susceptible.”
The Prime Minister and his senior ministers have said they are ruling nothing out ahead of June 14, when they will make their final decision.
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