John Connolly John Connolly

Is Boris right to delay the lockdown easing?

It now seems likely that freedom day is going to involve rather less freedom than everyone had hoped. Later today, Boris Johnson is expected to announce that the 21 June easing of lockdown will be delayed by up to four weeks, until every adult has been offered at least one vaccine by the end of next month. The delays mean that nightclubs will stay closed and work from home guidance will remain in place – although the 30-person limit on wedding guests is expected to be lifted and there will be more outdoor events allowed to take place.

The abrupt change to the lockdown easing plan comes as the Indian (or Delta) variant sweeps across Britain. But is it the right course of action to delay the lockdown lifting, when so many have already been vaccinated and so many livelihoods are at stake?

Our writers have been following the 21 June debate in intense detail here at The Spectator – below is all our coverage on the costs and benefits of delaying freedom day.

On Coffee House this week, Kate Andrews makes the case for what’s at stake when it comes to continuing the current restrictions. She points out that although we may be approaching something that comes close to normal life, this delay comes after over a year of some of the greatest restrictions to our freedoms in living memory:

‘A delay is not just a minor change to the roadmap. An additional week, two weeks, or month of restrictions does not exist in some bubble in time: it comes after fifteen months of lockdowns, circuit-breakers, red tape around park benches and laws dictating who you can and cannot host in your own home. Last March it was three weeks to ‘flatten the curve’; now we’re preparing to be told it’s a matter of weeks to return to normal.

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