Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will be self isolating
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Professor John Ashton was speaking as the Government removed a whole raft of restrictions including legal requirements to wear masks in public and limits of public gatherings. Capacity limits have also been lifted for sports venues, and nightclubs can – and have – reopened.
Prof Ashton, author of Blinded by Corona: How the Pandemic is Ruining our Health and Wealth, said: “After more than a year of hands-on experience, our government remains as blinded by Corona as they were at the start.
“The world is watching us open-mouthed.
“Freedom Day is a terrifying experiment with a petri dish of million people.
“Our reputation will be blemished for years to come and the sad thing is that it is a case of snatching defeat from the jaws of our vaccination victory.”
“We’re not going to have freedom while this virus is allowed to run riot.”
Referring to the so-called Delta variant first discovered in India, the former regional director of Public Health for North-West England added: “With vaccination, we finally had the opportunity of getting the virus down to very low levels but instead we let the new Indian variant rip in the age group that spend a lot of time in pubs and bars and restaurants.
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“As of today the virus has been given back its passport to run riot through the UK population by the Johnson government.
“It is a reckless act that reflects as badly on the government as on its weak and other-worldly scientific officers.”
Meanwhile the number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales has climbed to its highest level since the end of April.
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A total of 183 deaths registered in the week ending July 9 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This is up 68 percent on the previous week, and is the highest number since 205 deaths were registered in the week to April 30.
Deaths had dipped as low as 84 in the week to June 11.
The reopening comes against a trend of rising cases, with 39,950 positive tests confirmed yesterday.
As of July 14, the most recent Government figures available, the rate of COVID-19 cases over a seven-year period stood at 399.6 – also indicating a rising trend.
The UK’s vaccination rollout programme has been widely regarded as a big success, with 82,413,766 having had at least one dose, and 36,099,727 fully inoculated as of yesterday.
Simultaneously, the number of daily vaccinations administered in the UK has been falling steadily, with the most recent seven-day average standing at 231,130.6.
In addition, Prime Minister Mr Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak rapidly reversed initial decisions not to self-isolate as a result of having been in contact with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Saturday.
Speaking about the Government’s vaccination programme on Saturday, Prime Minister Mr Johnson said: “Barely 8 months since the first vaccine was given, reaching these targets is another extraordinary achievement.
“Thank you again to everyone coming forward, and to those helping others to get jabbed.
“You are the reason we are able to cautiously ease restrictions next week, and return closer towards normal life.
“Now let’s finish the job. If you’re over 18, book both your jabs today.”
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