Peter Hitchens Predicts UK Could Still Be Debating Coronavirus Restrictions ‘Next Year’

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Social distancing messaging on a footpath in Islington on July 11, 2020 in London, England. On Friday, Scotland made it mandatory to wear face coverings in shops. While England's official guidance recommends people wear face coverings in shops and other enclosed spaces, it is not …
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Author Peter Hitchens has predicted that Britain could still be debating coronavirus restrictions in a year, after the UK has been under some form of lockdown or restrictions since March 2020.

“Here we are, it’s 17, 18 months of all this stuff going on, and any sense that we’re going to get out of it seems to me to be increasingly hard to believe. You think this is going to be temporary? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we’re still discussing travel restrictions, masks, all the rest of it, next year,” Mr Hitchens told talkRADIO host Mike Graham.

“There is a relaxation, but how long will it last?” the Mail on Sunday columnist asked, tapping into the general fear from other lockdown sceptics that the end of most restrictions ushered in on ‘Freedom Day’ would only be temporary.

Conservative MP Mark Harper, the chairman of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) predicted a week before the end of lockdown that it could only be a matter of “weeks” that the government could decide to impose fresh restrictions with the coming Autumn and the rise in respiratory infections associated with the colder months.

“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 Harper said, citing a recent report from the government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) stating that “stronger measures may be desirable for autumn and winter”.

“What’s more, buried deep in a Government document released recently lurks a clear intention to extend the Coronavirus Act powers into 2022, when something that was supposed to be ‘emergency’ legislation would have been in force for two years,” Mr Harper said.

Chris Walker MP likewise predicted in June that “we’ll be in much harder lockdowns come the Autumn”.

Last week, CRG Deputy Chairman Steve Baker warned the government not to lock down the country again in Autumn, after the Johnson administration confirmed it would be reviewing its Covid-19 strategy in September.

We don’t shut schools, pubs and theatres for flu so following the fantastic success of our vaccine rollout, we mustn’t do it for Covid either,” Mr Baker said.

Mr Hitchens also claimed that the wearing of masks was less to do with their efficacy and more to do with people signalling their approval and obedience to the government’s restrictions.

“I always thought that the mask issue was very little to do with the technical evidence of their usefulness and much more to do with the huge propaganda impact it has of seeing people all around you wearing these masks, of promoting the idea we live in grave fear and danger,” Hitchens told talkRADIO listeners.

Continuing: “And also giving everybody the opportunity to signal very clearly by wearing something on their face, not just a badge or a tie, but wearing something on their face, covering up half their face, declaring that they accede to the government’s judgement. I think the politics has always been important.”

“It’s actually about politics: whether you agree with it or whether you don’t,” he said.

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