Connect with us


Lockdown end Freedom Day was almost delayed until September but ‘no compelling evidence’ to wait, minister admits

FREEDOM Day could have been delayed until September – but the scientific advice showed it would have made little difference, ministers said today.

Robert Jenrick said on the eve of all legal restrictions being binned that experts did have a look at whether to delay it for a second time.

Robert Jenrick said today ministers did consider whether to delay Freedom Day until September


Robert Jenrick said today ministers did consider whether to delay Freedom Day until SeptemberCredit: BBC

But it was found that “the evidence wasn’t compelling” to delay it, he said.

Speaking to Times Radio today, he said that cases will continue to rise, and refused to rule out gloomy predictions that Britain may even see a staggering 200,000 infections a day – as suggested by lockdown expert Professor Neil Ferguson.

And the peak of this wave was unlikely to be reached until the end of August or beginning of September.

.But now is the right time to lift restrictions because of the warm weather and the summer holidays meaning the virus won’t be circulating in schools, Mr Jenrick said.

He said: “Summer is the best time to do this, when the school holidays, there is less transmission amongst the young, the weather is good and we’re obviously enjoying particularly good weather right now so the climate is very benign. 

🔵 Read our coronavirus live blogfor the latest updates

“We looked at whether a further short delay to say September, would have been appropriate.

“And the evidence wasn’t compelling. 

“I think most scientific and medical opinion is that there is no straightforward answer to the question of when to step forward, but that now is a logical moment to do so, because it’s unlikely to be dramatically better in a month’s time.”

Brits will be free of most Covid rules from tomorrow


Brits will be free of most Covid rules from tomorrowCredit: LNP

Britain’s third wave is expected to peak in August with “challenging weeks ahead,” Mr Jenrick warned earlier.

The Housing and Communities Secretary warned that Covid infection won’t peak until later in the year – despite the fact the majority of Brits will be double-jabbed by September.

This comes as cases and hospitalisations continue to surge – with more than 100,000 daily infections expected in the summer months.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government minister told Sky News this morning: “I would urge people to ensure they have the NHS app on their phones. We’re actually seeing more people download the app than ever before.

“The evidence is positive, but if you do get contacted by track and Trace, please follow all the steps required.

“It is a really important part of our toolkit for tackling the virus at this critical stage as cases are still rising, hospitalizations are increasing.

“We won’t really expect this wave of the virus to peak until late August, maybe even early September so there are going to be some quite challenging weeks ahead.”


Mr Jenrick defended the decision to go ahead with lockdown lifting in England on Monday.

“We will all need to exercise good judgement,” he said.

“We are moving from that time when the state told you what to do, things were mandated as a matter of law, to one which had to come at some point where we trusted people, we trusted businesses and organisations, and gave them the information they needed to make good judgments.”

This comes amid Britain’s ‘Pingdemic’ – which has brought services to their knees with staff having to isolate after receiving a notification from the NHS.

The NHS Test & Trace app has ordered a record 520,194 to stay home in just a week, a 46 per cent rise on the previous seven days.

This means a staggering two million Brits are now thought to be stuck at home – with a further four million expected to be pinged as Freedom Day beckons.

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have been ‘pinged’ by NHS Test and Trace after coming into contact with Covid-positive Sajid Javid.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor initially said they WOULDN’T have to self-isolate because they are participating in a “daily contact testing pilot.”

However, in a major U-turn and following public outcry both said this morning that they would isolate – just like every Brit who has been ‘pinged’ by the NHS app.

Former Conservative adviser says Government should be ‘ashamed’ of Covid pilot scheme U-turn

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

7 + three =