Dr Hilary Jones has splashed ice cold water on any hopes of June 21 aka Freedom Day coming to fruition as he argues it ‘doesn’t make sense’.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is yet to announce whether all restrictions will ease as planned in two weeks amid mounting pressure from some scientists about the rising Covid-19 infections.
Calling for the lockdown rules to remain in place, Dr Hilary said on ITV’s Lorraine: ‘Why would we ease restrictions when things are getting worse? It doesn’t make sense to me.
‘We’re going to offer it to under 30s in the next few days and we’re talking about vaccinating children aged 12-15.
‘That vaccine has been approved by the MHRA [Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency] and the JCVI [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation], the joint committee that deals with vaccinations are going to consider whether we’re going to do this or not before kids go back to school in August.’
Dr Hilary continued: ‘So that makes sense, the vaccination programme is very good but there’s still a long way to go.
‘My view is if we can wait just a little bit longer until every adult is vaccinated, and maybe then children as well, we’d be in a much better place to ease restrictions.
‘If we do it now and we see even more rising cases, more hospitalisations and an NHS which is already very much still on its knees trying to cope with not just Covid but everything else; heart disease, cancer, if we can wait just a little bit longer, then we’ll be in a much better position to ease restrictions further but to do it too quickly I think will be a pretty big mistake.’
Downing Street previously indicated that Mr Johnson sees no need to delay ending all legal lockdown restrictions on June 21.
Asked about the Prime Minister’s plans amid warnings over the spread of the Delta variant, a No 10 spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister has said on a number of occasions that we haven’t seen anything in the data but we will continue to look at the data, we will continue to look at the latest scientific evidence as we move through June towards June 21.’
Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV.
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