Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi speaking earlier this morning on Sky News Breakfast gave a good outline of what to expect in the PM’s roadmap this afternoon in Parliament, prior to his national broadcast to the nation later this evening.Vaccines Minister, Nadhim Zahawi
Zahawi said that it is important to make the easing of lockdown “sustainable” and added that government easing measures “cautiously” makes him confident “it will be the last time the country needs to enter a full level lockdown”. He also clearly indicated that the PM will have some good news to share on the effectiveness of the vaccine rollout to date, and not just headline numbers.
The Vaccines Minister was cautious not to steal the headlines from his boss, but did give, by political standards, some fairly straight answers to questions.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi says it’s important to make the easing of lockdown “sustainable” and adds if we ease measures “cautiously” he’s confident “it will be the last time we enter a severe level of lockdown because of COVID-19”.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 22, 2021
Zahawi was adamant that the detail would only be given by Boris Johnson when he addresses the House of Commons at 3.30pm and later at the Downing Street news conference at 7pm.
What he did confirm is that all schools in England to reopen on 8 March, along with school sports, but only outdoors. And that from 29 March, people can start to socialise outside, and outdoor sports facilities can reopen including golf.
He also confirmed that the ‘four pillars’ guiding reopening are…
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
- Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new “variants of concern”.
The tone of the Vaccines Minister’s conversation with Sky News’ Niall Paterson continued to centre on the PM’s recent repetition of the word ‘cautious’.
We expect the PM this afternoon will be cautious, and will steer his roadmap safely down the middle of the road towards a sustainable reopening of the economy.
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Hospitality & Catering News: Vaccine effectiveness points to roadmap central. – 22 February 2021 – Vaccine effectiveness points to roadmap central.
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