Johnson’s big gamble – setting a time table for the lockdown regulations to be eased

Johnson’s big gamble – setting a time table for the lockdown regulations to be eased

Lockdown bandit Cummings and his team have certainly been hard at work briefing the media on the changes in the lockdown regulations that are due to be announced by the Prime Minister in House of Commons today

The papers, as can be seen above, are pretty positive and are giving the changes the big treatment because, clearly, any easing of the strict controls that people have been living under since March is massive news.

This, of course, represents a big gamble by ministers firstly that the easing won’t lead to a big upturn in coronavirus infections and deaths in the weeks to come. The second gamble is whether the public are ready to respond because over the last months they have invested an enormous amount by complying to these huge controls on their lives. The reason there has been such a high degree of compliance is because many are very worried about the virus itself.

As yet, of course, there is no vaccine or treatment and the possibility of an early upturn is very real. Just look at what is happening in Portugal at the moment which until now had seen relatively few infections and deaths.

Johnson, of course, came under strong criticism for not locking down earlier enough and you can argue that many more thousands of British people died as a result. What if he has got the timing of the easing wrong?

How realistic, as well, is it going to be for pub-goers to provide names and addresses to be admitted so that they can be identified in future if a fellow pub-goers at the same time contracts the virus? Popping in for a pint is going to be quite a routine.

Of course there is a huge pressure on the economy and the massive cost to the public purse of the measures that have been introduced.

So we are about to enter a new phase.

Mike Smithson

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