Boris Johnson has promised that Britain’s lockdown exit strategy will be “cautious but irreversible”, insisting that he wants this third national lockdown to be the UK’s last.
The ‘stay at home’ message will be dropped and the Prime Minister has said that the priority for Britain’s exit strategy will be “getting children back into school” and “prioritising ways for people to reunite with loved ones safely”.
Mr Johnson faces fierce pressure from both sides of the lockdown divide. While the Prime Minister has been urged by the health service to focus on “data, not just dates”, backbench Tory MPs are calling on Mr Johnson to unlock Britain’s economy and put trust in the UK’s vaccination programme.
What do you think needs to be included in the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown? Read on for the best discussion points from our readers and share your own view in the comments section at the bottom of this article.
‘The damage could be avoided by a more measured response’
“This cautious roadmap demonstrates a total lack of understanding of the practical reality most people are living through. It shows the dominance being given to Covid and a lack of awareness of the secondary damage the lockdown is causing. This current strategy is building for a public health disaster which will cause more issues for the NHS than Covid could.
“The delays are heaping unnecessary pressure and damage on people and businesses which could be avoided by a more measured response.”
‘This is a stage-managed compromise’
“The Prime Minister is caught between a rock and a hard place. Those who wish to open up more rapidly to boost the economy are up against some scientific advisers, who have a secure job unlike many, urging caution. You end up with a stage-managed compromise. I understand the Prime Minister’s stance in this situation.”
‘Restrictions should be lifted immediately’
“All aspects of lockdown and restrictions should be lifted immediately. I am sick of the increasingly coercive controls inflicted by this Government.”
‘The vaccine rollout is worth nothing if we can’t get on with our lives’
“When will this Government stop treating us like children? These steps to some sort of normality are insulting. All the benefits of the exceptional vaccine rollout are worth nothing if we now can’t start to get on with our lives like before.
“The economy is on its knees, the social fabric of the country is in tatters, non-Covid cases are piling up, people’s mental health is deteriorating and the best they can come up with is groups of six people can meet outside at the end of March?
“For God’s sake Boris, let us decide on the level of risk we are prepared to take. Get off our backs!”
‘The number of cases shouldn’t be part of the equation’
“A report from Scotland shows that the vaccines prevent hospitalisation. The number of cases shouldn’t be part of the equation.
“Fewer patients in hospitals, fewer deaths, more vaccinated people, open things up. It’s not rocket science.”
‘It’s ridiculous that I can’t meet my elderly mother who’s been vaccinated’
“It is rather ridiculous that I can’t meet my elderly mother indoors when she has been fully vaccinated and I, as of last week, have had the first dose.
“I’d take those odds of infection any day.”
‘Why will hairdressers and beauticians remain closed?’
“Someone please tell me the value of opening universities in April, it’s the Easter holidays?
“Also, why are hairdressers and beauticians are so far back in the opening when they all wear PPE? Surely a dentist and dental hygienist comes into far closer contact with you than a hairdresser? Open them up Boris and stop messing around.”
‘The economy won’t recover’
“I understand a bit of caution to placate the nervous. However, there is absolutely no justification, with a stellar vaccination rollout, for us being kept in semi-lockdown until summer with no guarantee that this is the last time.
“Unless the Government is crystal clear that they will never lockdown again, the economy won’t recover and neither will the country.”
‘The data has to be continually reviewed’
“Boris’s approach is right. You can’t define a precise algorithm for lifting the lockdown. That would be ridiculous. The data has to be continually reviewed.
“Boris has played a blinder by betting the farm on a vaccine. A reasonably cautious approach is required to capitalise on that success.
“Covid-19 can still throw up surprises, as some European countries are now finding out.”
‘Boris is more concerned about having to change course’
“I think Boris interprets the mission and pressure as presenting a plan he can stick to, instead of how he should be seeing it: a fast reopening.
“He is more concerned about having to change course, risking embarrassment. As such, whatever he says, politics is playing a huge role over science.”
‘We need to learn lessons from last year’
“Why risk short-term gain for long-term pain? Surely we need to learn lessons from last year and not make the same mistakes by rushing to unlock everything too quickly. So many of us have not yet been vaccinated or are still awaiting their second vaccine.”