The quarantine imposed in England to stop the wave of infections with the new strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus will start to be lifted only in March, a British government minister warned on Tuesday.
“When we enter (March), we should be able to lift some of these restrictions, but not necessarily all of them,” warned Michael Gove, in charge of coordinating the British government’s action, on Sky News.
“We will do everything we can to get as many people vaccinated as possible so that we can gradually lift the restrictions,” he said.
In the face of the alarming spread of the new strain of the virus, which is 50-70% more contagious according to British researchers, and the risk of the British health system collapsing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has extended the lockdown already applied to three-quarters of England’s population. the whole province and hardened it. The schools, which have remained open until now, have closed their doors.
The government is asking people to stay in their homes and go out only for well-founded reasons – essential shopping, going to work if they can’t do it from home, physical activity, medical needs, and, most importantly, to get rid of domestic violence.
The vaccination campaign, hope for lifting restrictions
By mid-February, the authorities hope to vaccinate all people over the age of 70, as well as medical staff, ie around 13 million people considered to be in the highest risk category, due to the acceleration of the vaccination campaign. started on December 8 and is currently made with two vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford.
“The more effective the vaccination program (…), the easier it will be to lift the restrictions,” the minister insisted, announcing that the coming weeks will be “very, very difficult.”
Legally, the lockdown was due to take effect Wednesday at 00:01 local time, but Boris Johnson urged the public to start following the rules immediately. Parliament will debate them on Wednesday.
With more than 75,000 deaths caused by COVID-19, the United Kingdom is one of the most affected countries in Europe, and the trend has worsened in recent weeks. The contamination balance published every day exceeds 50,000 contaminations and is close to 59,000 months.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday night that the whole of England is going into lockdown, and schools are closing due to the worrying balance of the coronavirus epidemic. This new “lockdown” is as strict as the one in the spring, since the beginning of the pandemic. People will be allowed to leave their homes only for good reasons, non-essential shops, theaters, cinemas, gyms, beauty salons, bars, and schools will close until at least the middle of next month.