Lockdown: When will lockdown be reviewed?

Phillip Schofield criticises Whitty for predicting 2021 lockdown

The lockdown implemented in England came in place of the 4-Tier system that was here before after health experts warned the levels weren’t stringent enough to control the virus. The new rules were announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, January 6, and were enshrined in law two days later ahead of a House of Commons vote. Under the new measures, people have been asked to ‘stay at home’ and only leave for certain specific reasons, including for exercise and to shop for essentials.

Mr Johnson said “the middle of February” was a tentative date for measures to start being eased across England.

Speaking to MPs in the House of Commons last week, the Prime Minister explained the emergence from lockdown would be “gradual”.

During his televised address to the nation, the Prime Minister said: “By the middle of February, if things go well and with a fair wind in our sails, we expect to have offered the first vaccine dose to everyone in the four top priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.”

Mr Johnson added that “we should remain cautious about the timetable ahead, but stressed there was light at the end of the tunnel if the vaccination programme is administered as planned and the death rate falls”.

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

He said: “Then I hope we can steadily move out of lockdown, reopening schools after the February half term and starting, cautiously, to move regions down the tiers.”

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, however, set the timeline a bit further away, saying the lockdown is likely to start ending in March.

Mr Gove said: “What we will be doing is everything that we can to make sure that as many people as possible are vaccinated so that we can begin to progressively lift restrictions.

“I think it is right to say that, as we enter March, we should be able to lift some of these restrictions, but not necessarily all.”

When will lockdown be reviewed?

The Prime Minister confirmed that the lockdown rules would be reviewed on a regular basis, every two weeks.

This follows suit from the four tier system previously in place, which was subject to review every other Wednesday.

Given the lockdown rules were enshrined into law on Wednesday, January 6, it would seem the first mandatory review will occur on Wednesday, January 20.

After this date, the next review is expected on Wednesday, February 3.

Is there a Covid press briefing tonight? [EXPLAINED]
Support bubbles: Will Boris ban support bubbles? Fears for childcare [INSIGHT]
Statutory sick pay: Owen Jones condemns ‘pittance’ payments  [ANALYSIS]

Mr Johnson said: “These restrictions will be kept under continuous review with a statutory requirement to review every two weeks and a legal obligation to remove them if they are no longer deemed necessary to limit the transmission of the virus.”

The insistence they would be kept under constant review was reiterated by Mr Gove: “We will keep these constantly under review, but we can’t predict with certainty that we will be able to lift restrictions in the week commencing February 15.”

Before the lockdown vote, some MPs expressed concern that the new law means Covid restrictions couldn’t be eased for months to come.

Prominent Conservative backbencher Sir Graham Brady said: “Approving these regulations today would allow for lockdown for three months until the end of March.”

But the Prime Minister explained the legislation, which is due to expire on March 31, was implemented for altogether different reasons.

Mr Johnson told MPs: “As was the case last spring, our emergence from the lockdown cocoon will not be a Big Bang but a gradual unwrapping.

“That’s why the legislation this House will vote for later today runs until March 31.

“Not because we expect the full national lockdown to continue until then, but to allow a steady, controlled and evidence-led move down through the Tiers on a regional basis – carefully, brick-by-brick, as it were, breaking free of our confinement but without risking the hard won gains that our protections have given us.”

Source: Read Full Article