Lockdown: James Cleverly on possibility of 'last lockdown'
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James Cleverly admitted the Government does not know how the vaccine or coronavirus will evolve in the future and whether it would lead to more lockdowns. While Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock showed an eagerness to reopen the country, Mr Cleverly was more cautious about the Government’s plans. It comes as Boris Johnson will announce the roadmap out of lockdown on February 22 which will reveal incremental reopenings of the UK in a “cautious and prudent” way.
Speaking on Sky News, host Gillian Joseph posed to Mr Cleverly: “So, the Prime Minister has said that he wants this to be the last lockdown that’s quite a bold statement to make with so many variables at play.”
Mr Cleverly replied: “Well, we do want it to be the last lockdown that’s what we’re working towards.
“We can see that the actions that we have taken have had a positive effect, the vaccine rollout has been very very successful.
“That will all be having a positive effect but ultimately, no one can predict with complete certainty what the vaccine will do how it might evolve.
“We are taking the right action, we are doing the right things and we very much hope that this will be the last lockdown.
“We can’t give complete 100 percent certainty because viruses don’t work like that but we know we’re doing the right things, we can see it’s having an effect and we were assessing just how that effectiveness is playing out in the real world.
“We can make the announcement early next week.”
While the country waits for the announcements next Monday many believe schools will be the first to reopen much like in Wales and Scotland.
James Cleverly cuts off his interview with BBC Breakfast
Some speculate that hospitality will be the last to reopen as Boris Johnson pointed out they were the final venues to open in the last lockdown.
Phase two of the vaccination rollout has begun which will target another four priority groups, roughly 17 million people.
The Government has set itself a target to vaccine these groups by the end of April, but forecasters believe they may finish sooner if their phase one rate continues.
Debates surrounding vaccine passports have also circled Westminster as a proposed way to open up shops and travel for vaccinated people.
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Mr Johnson and Mr Hancock did not believe they should be used domestically but Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was not opposed to using them to visit shops.
Mr Raab called for ceasefires in conflict zones earlier this week so the local population could receive their vaccines.
He also explained the UK would share vaccines with other countries when the vaccination programme was finished and said the Government has given half-a-billion pounds to the COVAX programme to provide vaccines to less economically developed nations.
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