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Tory minister says UK should ‘move as one’ out of Covid restrictions

05 Jul 2021 4 minutes Read
Robert Jenrick. By No10 Downing Street / Pippa Fowles

A Tory minister had said that the UK should “move as one” out of Covid-19 restrictions.

Robert Jenrick, Boris Johnson’s Communities Secretary, told The Andrew Marr Show that the UK Government wants the other nations of the UK to follow England and lift all legal coronavirus rules on July 19.

He said the Westminster government was going to “work with” Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to “try and be as coordinated as possible”.

However medical expert Dr Chaand Nagpaul has said the plan for what has been dubbed “freedom day”, just “makes no sense”.

In England it is expected that masks will become voluntary in public places, for the 1 metre-plus social distancing rule to be scrapped and for house parties to be allowed again.

But doctors have warned that face masks will still be needed beyond this month. The British Medical Association (BMA) have called the significant rise in infections in the UK “alarming”.

Jenrick said: “We would like the whole of the Union to move as one. We are going to work with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to try and be as coordinated as possible.

“Cases are slightly different in each of the four nations but certainly in England, our view is that things are looking positive for July 19.”

“We now have to move into a different period where we learn to live with the virus, we take precautions and we as individuals take personal responsibility.”

‘Figures’ 

No date has been set for lifting restrictions in Wales, but more of Wales’ Covid-19 rules could change over the next few weeks from being legal requirements to government advice, according to a Welsh minister.

Counsel General Mick Antoniw told BBC Wales that ministers and officials would evaluate data ahead of the next review on 15 July.

According to official figures, weekly Covid-19 cases in the UK are up 74% on the previous seven days.

On Friday, 27,125 new positive cases were recorded across the UK’s four nations, and there were another 27 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

The BMA says there’s been a 55% rise in the number of patients admitted to hospitals in England with Covid-19 over the past week

A further 535 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Wales, according to recent data published by Public Health Wales.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council, said: “It makes no sense to remove restrictions in their entirety in just over two weeks’ time.

“The promise was to make decisions based on data and not dates, and while we were pleased to see the government react to data in delaying the easing on 21 June last month, ministers must not now simply disregard the most recent, damning numbers by rushing into meeting their new 19 July deadline.”

Counsel General Mick Antoniw told BBC Politics Wales that the Welsh Government’s “current thinking is that we have obviously an increase in the level of infections, but we have less hospitalisation out of that”.

“We want to maximise the vaccination rates still further, and then around the 15th or 16th of July, we’ll have a review, and we’ll consider what further easings can be taken within the data that we actually have.

“Setting a date has its own problems because, if you’re saying you want to achieve these certain things on this particular date… it is still always dependent on what the latest information is in respect of the infection rates.

“We are certainly moving in the direction of a much greater normality.

“But the pandemic is going to be with us for some time.”

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Mark
Mark
3 months ago

Yet another completely trustworthy and honest tory mp who doesn’t take back handers or dodgy brown envelopes from anyone, especially tory donor housing developers and no, he didn’t break lockdown rules (apparently)

Chris
Chris
3 months ago

So we should slow down and wait for England to catch up, so that Bozo can jump in front of the band and pretend he is leading it? Stuff that! After so many centuries of lies and mistreatment we should trust them? Especially THIS them?
Fool me once, shame on you, fool me thousands of times over many centuries shame on me!
We should do NOTHING in alignment with Westminster because it is ALWAYS a trap

Erisian
Erisian
3 months ago

He is welcome to his opinion and we are (currently) free to ignore it. I’ll wait for the Senedd to speak.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
3 months ago

The smell of desperation and dates rather than data is in the air. Sunak and Javid are racing to “get back to normal” and reopen the economy before they smash it with the sledgehammer of ending furlough. Friends of mine in events have been waiting for over a year for relief funds they were “guaranteed” and are becoming convinced they will never get it. Possibly because the money has all gone to cronies. Jenrick is just one more corrupt Tory, follow the money. Taken together with Brexit and the exodus of UK touring firms employing tens of thousands and these… Read more »

Bruce
Bruce
3 months ago

Yeah right, because England’s relaxation of lockdown rules really worked out well the last time didn’t it?

Alan Reilly
Alan Reilly
3 months ago

Eh? Westminster has basically led a cull of the vulnerable with Covid and we should follow their lead? No thanks.

Quornby
Quornby
3 months ago

“Working together” is Tory speak for issuing orders to the colonies.

Mandi A
Mandi A
3 months ago

Just spoke to daughter on a train, trains are jam-packed, no-one wearing masks, no distancing, more people allowed to board all the time. She says lateral flow tests are c**p, everyone she knows in south west of England are self-isolating or stressing about having to go to work to get paid. All we can do is set our own personal parameters.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
3 months ago

Jenrick’s opinion is not about public health but is all about trumpeting the union — a sort of “UK branding” for the lifting of restrictions. For both reasons — protecting Welsh citizens and defending devolution — this is one area where the Welsh Government absolutely must ignore what this man says.

Ken covack
Ken covack
3 months ago

All they really want are the colonies to follow suit so they can earn more money off our backs by stopping all the furlough and draw back the extra £20 pound from UC claimers. This tory government are disgusting!

George
George
3 months ago

Tory minister says this is the direction/speed England wants to travel in and other nations within the UK should move in the same direction/at same speed.

It doesn’t really demonstrate willingness to “move as one” if you’re asked if you’d accommodate slower re-opening on basis of what another nation is looking at that and you decline based on what is right for the nation you represent.

N.B. Not a criticism of what they’re doing in England but trying to highlight that “move as one” isn’t followed up on when it’s Westminster’s turn to alter desired course of action.

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