Covid flare ups WILL happen and 2nd lockdown possible, warns Boris as he eases restrictions

CORONAVIRUS flare ups will happen and a second lockdown is possible, Boris Johnson has warned.

Unveiling a significant easing of England's restrictions, the Prime Minister said that local measures may be reinstated if infections rise.

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He revealed that infections fell by nearly 70 per cent in a month – which has made the easing possible.

Mr Johnson said the belief that currently there is no risk of a second peak.

"The number of new infections is now declining by between two and four percent every day," he told parliament.

"This pandemic has inflicted permanent scars and we mourn everyone we have lost…

"While we remain vigilant, we do not believe there is currently a risk of a second peak of infections that might overwhelm the NHS."

Infections fall

Mr Johnson added: "In the first half of May, nearly 69,000 people tested positive for Covid-19 across the UK.

"By the first half of June, that total had fallen by nearly 70 percent to just under 22,000.

"The number of new infections is now declining by between two and four percent every day.

"Four weeks ago, an average of 1 in 400 people in the community in England had Covid-19, in the first half of June, this figure was 1 in 1,700.

 

 

"We created a human shield around the NHS and in turn our doctors and nurses have protected us, and together we have saved our hospitals from being overwhelmed.

"On the 11th May, 1,073 people were admitted to hospital in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with Covid-19, by 20th June, this had fallen by 74 per cent to 283.

"This pandemic has inflicted permanent scars and we mourn everyone we have lost.

"Measured by a seven-day rolling average, the number of daily deaths peaked at 943 on April 14.

"On May 11 it was 476, and yesterday, the rolling average stood at 130."

New rules

Under the changes from July 4, indoor gatherings involving two separate households will be permitted – including the possibility of visiting reopened pubs and restaurants – but social distancing will need to be maintained.

The two-metre rule will be eased, replaced with a "one-metre plus" measure, with the protection offered by the physical distance enhanced by other mitigation measures such as the use of face coverings, increased hygiene or layout changes in premises.

Boris Johnson said the "national hibernation" was beginning to end, and "life is returning to our streets".

The Prime Minister told MPs that progress in tackling the virus meant steps could be taken to "safely ease the lockdown", but "caution will remain our watchword".

Mr Johnson acknowledged that the two-metre rule "effectively makes life impossible for large parts of our economy even without other restrictions".

He added: "We're today (Tuesday) publishing guidance on how business can reduce the risk by taking certain steps to protect workers and customers.

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"And these include, for instance, avoiding face-to-face seating by changing office layouts, reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces, improving ventilation, using protective screens and face coverings, closing non-essential social spaces, providing hand sanitiser, changing shift patterns so that staff work in set teams."

With guidance replacing legislation, Mr Johnson said he was relying on people using their common sense to limit the spread of the virus.

Officials acknowledged that July 4 was a significant step, but remained a long way away from normal life.

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