Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suggested that England will not return to the tiers system at the end of its third lockdown because the infectious nature of the new coronavirus strain renders the system redundant, and over reported concerns of the economic recovery of some areas of the country.
“It may be that a national approach, going down the tiers in a national way, might be better this time round, given that the disease is behaving much more nationally,” said Prime Minister Johnson said during a visit of a vaccination centre in Batley, West Yorkshire, on Monday.
“If you look at the way the new variant has taken off across the country, it’s a pretty national phenomenon,” the prime minister said, according to The Guardian.
He continued: “The charts I see, we’re all sort of moving pretty much in the same sort of way. I mean there are a few discrepancies, a few differences, so it may be that we will go for a national approach but there may be an advantage still in some regional differentiation as well. I’m keeping an open mind on that.”
After weeks of mixed signals from the government regarding an exit strategy, Mr Johnson said last month that his administration would be looking at a “roadmap” for societal recovery from lockdown from the week beginning February 22nd.
Other reports have claimed his Cabinet is considering a three-staged slow-release, starting with schools reopening in March, non-essential shops reopening the month after, and hospitality venues like pubs opening in May. However, according to Environment Secretary George Eustace’s remarks from last month, it is likely that other restrictions could still be in place in one form or another until Summer.
UK So Confident on Vax Supply, Will Start to Stockpile for 2022 https://t.co/iIvxsi0OxU
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 2, 2021
Sources speaking to The Sun also say that Mr Johnson is concerned about the economic recovery of certain areas of England if they are still under strict tiers, which would conflict with his endeavours to “level up” deprived parts of the country.
Last year, Johnson employed a three-tiered system of restrictions in response to the levels of coronavirus infections in the country, introducing Tier 4 a week before Christmas, putting millions of Britons in south-east England under almost-lockdown type restrictions.
In early January, the prime minister announced a third nationwide shutdown in England, without giving a definitive end-date, saying he only hoped an exit strategy could be defined in the coming weeks following a successful vaccination programme and lowering hospital admissions.
While the European Union has come under criticism for its bungled bloc-wide vaccination programme, European media have praised Boris Johnson and Brexit Britain for its vaccine successes, having inoculated more than 13 per cent of Britons.
Govt Scientific Advisors Call for Mask-Wearing Outside https://t.co/V5ISCfuEFp
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 1, 2021