The Prime Minister has said that he wants pubs, theatres and other establishments to open on 4th of July.
The current situation within Government has been described as a balancing act; with Boris Johnson and his team trying to keep their party backers in the entertainment industry happy while. Commentators have rightfully pointed out that they are juggling profit with lives as the COVID-19 risk is still quite high; with many areas seeing ‘R numbers’ above 1.
At a recent Daily COVID-19 Briefing, SAGE member and Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty told the press in no uncertain terms that “social distancing will be 2-meters as long as Coronavirus is with us”. Developments over the weekend signal Governments intention to move away from the influence of the SAGE group as their advice begins to clash with Government’s plans.
At yesterdays (23rd june) Downing Street briefing, Chris Whitty seemed to distance himself from Governments plans, stating that the ‘decisions are made by elected officials’.
The ‘independent SAGE’ groups, who both contain some of the UK’s top epidemiologists, scientists and Medical Officers have attacked Governments plans to relax social distancing. The Independent SAGE group said that relaxing social distancing will “risk of transmission still too high to reduce social distancing rules indoors” and that the “daily number of new cases still too high, evidence needed that it has dropped to much less than 1,000 a day before relaxing rules”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address ministers today to confirm plans which will essentially end social-distancing in England, paving the way for the reopening of the countries Pubs, clubs and social spaces. Is this too fast? Only time will tell.