Brexit leader Nigel Farage has warned that the UK could be back under “some form of lockdown” after children start going back to school in the autumn, after the prime minister announced the end of restrictions for July 19th.
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that nearly all legal restrictions will be lifted next week, including mandatory masks, social distancing, and limits on gatherings.
While Johnson had previously said that the end of lockdown was “irreversible”, Mr Farage believes that the UK could be forced under restrictions again as early as September, noting that is when children return to school and “infections will start to spread again”.
“I would bet right now that we will be back in some form of lockdown by September or October. So I would urge people not to get too excited about Freedom Day,” Mr Farage told GB News on Tuesday.
Indeed, the prime minister said during last night’s press briefing that the government “must rule nothing out” with regards to reimposing restrictions.
The prime minister said: “We will keep all the data under constant review throughout the rest of this and probably, I’m afraid, into next year, as well. If we are seeing very exceptional circumstances… or the arrival of some new variant that we haven’t bargained for, budgeted for, that really is causing us a real problem, then obviously, we must rule nothing out. I’ve been very, very clear about that. We must protect the public, and we will not hesitate to use the means that we have at our disposal.”
Likewise, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Monday that restrictions could come back if the “risk matrix changes”.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 13, 2021
Mr Johnson also said during yesterday’s briefing that next Monday does not mean a return to a normal life, saying: “I cannot say this powerfully or emphatically enough: this pandemic is not over. This disease continues to carry risk to you and your family. We cannot revert instantly on Monday 19 July to life as it was before Covid.”
Indeed, the government’s top doctor, Chris Whitty, has already rubbished any suggestion that there could be any return to normality until 2022.
A number of Conservative MPs have also warned in recent weeks that the government could reimpose restrictions in the winter, including Mark Harper who said this week: “Anyone who thinks I’m being too pessimistic should take a look at the small print in Government documents, which offer more than a hint that the Government is intending to reintroduce restrictions this winter.”
Mr Farage also criticised Boris Johnson for telling Britons that they should “proceed with caution” from July 19th, remarking: “I wish he’d exercised caution when all the flights were coming in in February and March last year from Italy, with all the flights coming in from India this year. That’s when caution should have been exercised. Of course, it wasn’t.”
He added: “I’m not pretending that his virus isn’t serious for some people. But let’s face it: most of us over a certain age have had a double vaccination. We’re told it’s up to 95 per cent effective.
“Why have we gone through the whole vaccination process if we’re not able to get on with our lives? And what about the damage to the self-employed? What about the damage to small businesses? What about the damage to the travel sector, parts of the retail sector, the hospitality sector? We can’t go on living half a life forever.”
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 9, 2021