LONDON (AP)-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that despite the surge in coronavirus cases elsewhere in Europe, the slow and steady three-month lockdown in the UK is still underway as he confirmed The business from barbershop to bookstore will be allowed to reopen next week.
Johnson said that it is too early to judge whether British residents can travel abroad during the summer. He confirmed that the government will test the controversial “vaccine passport” system, which is a way for people to provide proof that they are safe from COVID-19, as a tool to help travel and large-scale events return safely.
After Johnson took the first step from the lockdown by reopening the school, Johnson said that the UK̵
Johnson said at the press conference: “We have established a road map and we are committed to it.”
However, he added: “We cannot be complacent. We can see the wave of diseases that plague other countries, and we have seen the development of this story.”
On April 12, the United Kingdom will also lift the ban on overnight stays outside the home at night, and outdoor places such as zoos and outdoor cinemas can also be opened again.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are exiting the blockade along similar but slightly different routes.
The United Kingdom has recorded nearly 127,000 deaths from the coronavirus, the country with the highest number of deaths in Europe. However, during the current lockdown and since the start of the vaccination campaign, the number of infections and deaths has dropped sharply, and the vaccination campaign has enabled more than 31 million people (that is, one in ten adults) to receive the first dose.
The government’s goal is to provide at least one shot of vaccine to all adults by July, and it hopes to combine vaccination with large-scale testing so that indoor social events and large-scale events can be repeated.
The report says that all adults and children in England will be encouraged to undergo routine coronavirus checks twice a week to stop new outbreaks. The government stated that the free lateral flow test will be available via email from Friday and will be provided free of charge in pharmacies and workplaces.
The lateral flow test takes only a few minutes to produce results, but its accuracy is not as accurate as the PCR swab test used to formally confirm COVID-19 cases. But the government insists that they are reliable and will help find people who are infected with the virus but have no symptoms.
At present, according to the special powers given to the government by Parliament to combat epidemics, Britons are currently prohibited by law from vacationing abroad. The government said on Monday that it will not lift the travel ban before (and possibly after) May 17.
It said in an official update: “The government hopes that people will be able to travel to and from the UK for summer vacation this year, but it is too early to know what might be possible.”
Once travel resumes, the UK will rank countries on the traffic light system as green, yellow or red based on the degree of vaccination, infection, and worrying new virus variants. People from “green” countries will have to be tested but will not face quarantine.
The government is also testing the “COVID Status Certification” system (often called “vaccine passport”), which will allow people seeking to travel or participate in events to indicate that they have received the coronavirus vaccine, that the virus is negative or have recently contracted COVID -19, so it has a certain degree of immunity.
A series of activities will begin this month, including football matches, comedy shows and marathons. The government stated that the initial incident will only rely on testing, “but in subsequent pilots, vaccination and gaining immunity are expected to become another way to prove identity.”
The issue of vaccine passports has caused fierce controversy around the world, raising questions about how many governments, employers, and property owners know a person’s virus status. From center-left opposition politicians to Johnson’s Conservative Party members, a wide range of British lawmakers opposed the idea, and the policy may face strong opposition when it is submitted to Parliament later this month.
Conservative MP Graham Brady said that vaccine passports are “invasive, expensive and unnecessary.” The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, called the idea “non-British.”
The government says that vaccine passports are almost inevitable because many countries will definitely require COVID-19 identification before entering the country. It said that prohibiting British companies from requiring customers to provide similar certification would be “an unreasonable interference in how companies choose to make their premises safe.”
But the government stated that access to “essential public services, public transportation and basic shops” will no longer require a vaccine passport.
Johnson acknowledged that the vaccine passport raises “complex ethical and practical issues” and emphasized that the upcoming launch of a vaccine passport is impossible.
He said: “We are still a long way from completing any plan for COVID certification in the UK.”
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