Punters make it a 67% chance that restrictions will be re-introduced before the year end
With so-called Freedom Day scheduled for tomorrow, several of the papers are leading on the fact that this is going to be nothing like what BoJo had declared not so long ago. It is not helped by the fact that HealthSec Javid has now contracted the virus. This is how the S Times is reporting it:
Britain faces disruption to food supplies, transport networks and industry as Covid-19’s third wave intensifies, hours before Boris Johnson is set to lift most pandemic restrictions..One of Britain’s largest retailers warned of “major disruption” that could leave gaps on shelves, while parts of the London Underground closed yesterday because of the number of staff instructed to self-isolate..Johnson and several other senior cabinet ministers were warned that they could have to self-isolate after Sajid Javid, the health secretary, who has championed the economic arguments for opening up, disclosed that he had showed up positive on a lateral flow test. Javid, 51, who has been double-jabbed, said his symptoms were mild.
This is the Sunday Mirror:
Lockdowns may need to be reimposed if Covid cases continue to rise, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned as hospitalisations “headed for 10,000”. Most coronavirus rules are set to be axed on Monday – but Mr Hunt said the situation facing the NHS is “very serious” with rapidly increasing numbers of hospital admissions. “The warning light on the NHS dashboard is not flashing amber, it is flashing red,” he told the BBC. It came as one scientist advising the Government said the country could be facing a “protracted period” of rising cases running into the autumn.
The Smarkets exchange “Any Covid restrictions to be re-introduced in England during 2021” betting market that was reported here yesterday has seen YES move to a 67.5% chance. It was a 50% chance yesterday,
As I have argued here before it was a big mistake for Johnson to make such a big deal of Freedom Day in advance because there was always the risk that events would make it difficult.
UPDATE: These are the markeThis market relates to whether the UK government re-introduces any legally enforceable restrictions on social contact in England related to the spread of coronavirus, following the legal end of restrictions on social contact (currently expected to take place on 19 July 2021). Examples may include, but are not limited to, the mandatory wearing of face masks on public transport or the closure of pubs/nightclubs. For the purposes of this market, restrictions will not include any regulations on international travel or any regulations related to self-isolation or quarantine. For the purposes of this market, ‘re-introduce’ does not require any restrictions to exactly replicate previous restrictions. If the UK government does not end restrictions on social contact in 2021, and thus could not ‘re-introduce’ restrictions, this market will be void. Dates in this market relate to when any restrictions come into force in England, rather than the date on which they are announced. All times and dates in this market are in UK time. Clarification (14 July 2021): This market refers to mandatory England-wide measures introduced by the UK government. Any measures that are introduced locally or by individual companies (e.g. Transport for London only) will not count towards the settlement of this market. Clarification (6 September 2021): If ‘vaccination passports’ are required for entry to nightclubs or other events, this market will be settled for yes, so long as the measure satisfies the other conditions in the market rules, i.e. that it is mandatory, implemented by the UK government, England-wide and legally enforceable. Clarification (12 October 2021): If vaccines become mandatory for people working in care homes at any point in 2021 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vaccination-of-people-working-or-deployed-in-care-homes-operational-guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-of-people-working-or-deployed-in-care-homes-operational-guidance) this market will be settled for yes, so long as the measure satisfies the other conditions in the market rules, i.e. that it is mandatory, implemented by the UK government, England-wide and legally enforceable.