Boris Johnson is gathering his Cabinet for crunch talks amid grim claims there’s a close to nil chance of June 21 lockdown easing going ahead as hoped.
The Prime Minister and his senior ministers are meeting with concern over the fast-spreading Indian variant of coronavirus running high.
Ministers are preparing emergency plans that could see local restrictions used to battle hotspots, or even the next step of the roadmap delayed.
In the echo of the tiers system brought in last summer, people in the worst-hit areas could be told to stay at home and restaurants and shops forced to close, with stricken businesses given more grants to keep them afloat.
There’s also growing doubts about whether lockdown can be lifted across England on June 21.
Just a week ago Boris Johnson was holding out the possibility of a widespread lifting of legal constraints and social distancing, but it now seems that a review of the rules is unlikely to report this month.
One government source told ITV News that some of the loosenings that took effect this week, including the Rule of Six socialising indoors and in bars and restaurants, might have to be rolled back.
They said that it was clear that some social distancing would have to be retained, and that not everything they set out for 21 June will likely happen, but it was also possible some of the easings they’ve done will have to be reversed.
Any backtracking would be a tremendous setback for Boris Johnson after he pledged a careful but irreversible departure from lockdown.
Tory ministers and MPs have been warning the Prime Minister against changing course, protesting that curbs mustn’t be extended to protect people who are refusing vaccines, which are thought to be effective against the Indian variant.
One Cabinet minister warned that missing the June 21 milestone could become Boris Johnson’s ‘Theresa May moment’, a reference to her failed Brexit deadline.
The source said that this freedom date was burned onto people’s brains in the same way her date for leaving the EU was, and when she missed it, she was finished.
The source said that No 10 had overreacted to panicked warnings from the usual suspects in parts of the health establishment.
It comes as Matt Hancock announced that a total of 2,323 cases of the Indian COVID variant have now been discovered in England, as figures reveal they’ve quadrupled in just ten days and now account for at least one in five infections.
But has the COVID 19 ever really been isolated? Or is it about creating fear because when people are fearful they do illogical things and follow ridiculous guidelines, such as mask-wearing and social distancing? And if this has all just been grabbed out of the sky, then it’s all about money, control and making trillions of pounds.
Most people have done everything that was asked of them. Not seeing any family members for over a year, or visited anyone’s house.
People have worn masks everywhere, used hand gel that often makes your hands sore.
People have worked on the frontline and often struggled to speak to loved ones.
They’ve had their vaccines, even though it made their arm hurt, and they still went straight back to work, so it’s not surprising that people are feeling let down, outraged and betrayed by the government, who didn’t appear to learn their lesson from the blunders they made last year, and the Indian variant was allowed to come into the United Kingdom after everything people have been through. This is inexcusable, and it has been allowed to happen.