‘Shambolic’: Country ditches lockdowns despite soaring Covid cases

·News Reporter
·3-min read

The UK Government says it does not intend on reinstating any further lockdowns despite cases of Covid-19 soaring.

Speaking to BBC, Health Minister Sajid Javid said he was not "anticipating any more lockdowns" and that vaccine passports would not be introduced in England, as the government depends instead on vaccines and testing to defend the public.

Mr Javid told broadcasters that while the measure has not been completely taken off the table, he doesn't "see how we get to another lockdown".

Mr Javid also said the government will no longer go ahead with vaccine passports to allow people to attend mass events and that he wanted to "get rid of" PCR tests for travellers as soon as possible.

Festival-goers dance and cheer with their mobile phones during the TRNSMT Festival on Glasgow Green in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland.
Festival-goers at the TRNSMT Festival on Glasgow Green in Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday. The festival was cancelled last year due to Covid. Source: Getty Images

The UK has had more than 960,000 cases of coronavirus over the past 28 days and more than 3200 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

But the government believes its vaccine program is effective.

"Now that we're entering autumn and winter ... the prime minister this week will be setting out our plans to manage Covid over the coming few months and in that we will be making it clear that our vaccine programme is working," Mr Javid told Sky News.

The minister said the government would remain "cautious", but "the vaccine programme, our testing programme, our surveillance programme, the new treatments ... this is all our wall of defence and whilst there's a lot of virus around, it is working".

Critical Care staff turn a Covid-19 patient on the Christine Brown ward at King's College Hospital in London.
Critical Care staff treat a coronavirus patient at London's King's College Hospital. Source: Getty Images

Decision to scrap vaccine passports slammed

The UK government was handed sweeping emergency powers in March 2020 with the introduction of the Coronavirus Act, which included measures to shut down businesses, to close down sectors of the economy and the right to detain infectious people.

"These extraordinary times required necessary but intrusive measures. But I'm determined to get of rid of any powers we no longer need because of our vaccine defences," Mr Johnson has perviously said.

The opposition Labour Party said it agreed it was a "reasonable" approach to take some measures off the statute book but warned the government that winter could punish the National Health Service (NHS).

"We know that winter is going to be difficult, the NHS are fearing the worst winter in living memory, we know we're going to have more flu, respiratory problems," Labour's health policy chief Jonathan Ashworth told Times Radio.

"So we need to prepare our NHS for the winter."

The Opposition was far more critical of the decision to scrap vaccine passports though, calling the move "shambolic".

Competitors poised at the start of the Elite Women's race during the 40th Great North Run in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Competitors at the start of the Elite Women's race during the 40th Great North Run in Newcastle on Sunday. Source: Getty Images

Nearly 44 million UK residents fully-vaccinated

More than 48 million people in the UK have had their first dose of vaccine with almost 44 million with two, according to NHS data.

According to the BBC, Scotland and Wales have 91 per cent of people aged over 16 have had at least one jab, while England has reached 89 per cent and Northern Ireland 86 per cent.

In Australia, NSW plans to re-open to fully vaccinated residents once 70 per cent of the population has received both jabs.

There is no set date yet but it is believed the state will reach this rate by mid-October. It means by the end of October, residents with two jabs will be able to enjoy pubs, gyms and non-essential retail.

with Reuters

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