Boris Johnson says we need to regain “confidence
10 Downing Street, whose government has been calling for several weeks to live with COVID as with the flu, was among the first in Europe to try to return to life before the pandemic, relying on high vaccination coverage, like Denmark or Sweden.
Since mid-January, Boris Johnson had committed England to lift most of the restrictions, tightened in the face of the Omicron wave, such as telecommuting or the wearing of mandatory masks, before announcing in early February that he wanted to return to Parliament on February 21, to present his strategy.
On the other hand, the possibility of ending the legal obligation to isolate oneself in case of a positive test and the end of free testing has been strongly criticized, including by senior officials of the NHS, the British public health service and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“I’m not saying we should throw caution to the wind, but it’s time for everyone to regain confidence,” said Boris Johnson in an interview broadcast on Sunday by the BBC.
Since vaccination coverage in the UK has “reached a stage” where it is possible to move from “obligation” of certain behaviours to “encouragement”. In particular, he said that the country could do without spending “two million pounds a month” on tests.
“Boris Johnson is declaring victory when the war is not over, in an attempt to distract from the fact that the police are knocking on his door,” opposition Labour MP Wes Streeting, who is responsible for health issues, blasted on Sky News.
Heavily criticized for his mishandling of the health crisis, Boris Johnson is currently embroiled in a scandal over Downing Street parties held during the lockdown, which threatens his political survival.
Downing Street confirmed on Friday evening that the Prime Minister had returned the questionnaire, which has legal force, to the London police.
Boris Johnson refused to say whether he would resign if fined during his interview with the BBC
The United Kingdom, with 160,000 deaths, is among the countries hardest hit by the pandemic.