No Lockdown… For Now! Govt Tells Britons to Behave if They Want to Keep Freedoms

Britain's Health Secretary Sajid Javid speaks during a press conference inside the Do
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The UK government has told Britons to do as they are instructed by the government “not just to save lives, but to keep your freedoms too” in an unscheduled address to the nation about the coming winter months.

Announced lunchtime, the Wednesday evening address to the nation by now-health secretary Sajid Javid — who replaced previous incumbent Matt Hancock after a series of scandals eroded faith in the politician — announced no new restrictions as feared, but instead buttressed the government’s position that the public needed to do as they are told to prevent future lockdowns.

Speaking from Downing Street’s new Whitehouse-style press room, Javid said: “We’ve always known the winter months would pose the greatest threat to our road to recovery… ahead of winter, just as we’ve expected, we’ve started to see this impact. Cases are rising.”

For those who may have believed that with cases levelled off and lower than the winter 2020 spike meant things were returning to normal, Javid was quick to disabuse, continuing that while “Deaths remain mercifully low”, it remained the case that “This pandemic is not over… this virus will be with us for the long term, and it remains a threat.”

To “keep your freedoms”, the health secretary said, Britons needed to get vaccinated, and in some cases it was time for some older and more vulnerable residents to come forward for a third vaccine dose because “covid vaccine reduces materially over time”.

Characterising the government’s response to coronavirus as a “race” between the vaccine and the disease, Javid said the “gap is narrowing” between the two. He told Britons of the choice they had between following instructions and losing liberty:

…please [book your vaccination]… not just to save lives, but to keep your freedoms too. Because all of these precious moments we’ve been able to restore over the past few months, the loved ones we’ve been able to see and the collective experiences we’ve been able to share, they’ve been possible thanks to our vaccination programme and so many of you who came forward when it was your time. And if we want to secure these freedoms for the long-term, the best thing we can do is to come forward once again when that moment comes.


Javid said these moves the government was asking of the people were so the country could “get through winter and enjoy Christmas with our loved ones ” — a significant remark, perhaps, given similar promises by the government last year to not cancel Christmas were eventually reneged upon.

The health secretary on Wednesday also encouraged peer pressure from the public to be brought upon those remaining unvaccinated adults, which he said there were five million of in the UK. “It might be somebody you know, a friend, a family member, a colleague. And if you do, tell them that it’s never too late to come forward”, he said.

While government figures have moved to reassure the public they don’t want to put the country back into lockdown unless forced, the state socialised healthcare provider NHS has been campaigning for the return of lockdown and mask mandates. Over the course of the coronavirus era, the NHS has tended to win such arguments.

Establishing the context for the lockdown demands, the head of the NHS Confederation Matthew Taylor said the “health service is right at the edge” of collapse, remarking “The risk of the NHS being overwhelmed is there. At the moment the system is working flat out and those winter pressures are going to grow”.


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