What is Boris Johnson expected to announce?
Boris Johnson is expected to confirm that the end of England’s lockdown restrictions can go ahead as planned on July 19.
Last week he spelt out the details of what the delayed ‘step four’ of his roadmap would mean.
Today’s announcement is about giving businesses a formal seven-day notice that it can proceed as planned.
While it’s not expected he will cancel the lockdown easing, it does technically depend on the data.
The Prime Minister and his scientific advisors will present the latest data – which shows cases surging.
UK cases are up 27% in a week with 31,772 recorded yesterday, with the rate of growth apparently slowing after previously rising more than 50% week-on-week.
Deaths are far lower than earlier in the pandemic but are up 66% in a week, with 26 recorded yesterday and 203 in a week. Hospitalisations are up 57% in a week with 563 yesterday alone.
The PM is likely to say that step four can go ahead despite the surge, because the UK was always going to see an exit wave and the link between cases and deaths is “weakened”.
But the data is likely to raise huge questions about whether there could be a tide of “long Covid” in the young. And the PM’s admission that cases will continue to rise begs the question: how high is acceptable?
Crucially the data could show modelling of how many deaths are expected from stage four, something that was missing last week.