British Leader Optimistic England's COVID-19 Restrictions Could End June 21
By VOA News February 23, 2021
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday he is very optimistic that all COVID-19 restrictions in England could end June 21.
Johnson made the comment as he toured a south London school to talk about his hope to open all schools by March 8, part of the "road map" to lifting restrictions and ending the lockdown he outlined Monday.
Johnson told reporters nothing is guaranteed, and his government will continue to follow the guidance at each stage.
But he said because "science has given us this way of creating a whole shield around our population, we can really look at that June 21 date with some optimism.
Under the plan Johnson unveiled Monday, some businesses stay shuttered until the summer. Johnson said caution was necessary to ensure there was no reversal on a "one-way road to freedom."
Johnson said they are also carefully reviewing the idea of vaccine "certificates," where those who have been fully vaccinated could be given documentation that would allow them to enter entertainment venues, nightclubs or events.
He said senior minister Michael Gove would lead a review to thrash out the "scientific, moral, philosophical, ethical" question of vaccine certificates. He said there are complex "ethical issues about what the role is for government in mandating people to have such a thing," as it could discriminate against people who, for whatever reason, are unable to get vaccinated.
Britain, in two months, has already managed to provide an initial vaccine dose to more than a quarter of the population, the fastest rollout of any big country, making it a worldwide test case for governments hoping to return to normal.
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