Coffee House Shots

What to expect from the big bang reopening

13 min listen

Boris Johnson will announce details of the 19 July reopening later today. According to reports over the weekend, masks will be ditched, social distancing will be scrapped, indoor venues will open to full capacity and mass events will be allowed. Katy Balls speaks to James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman about the plans.

The government has made much of the reopening being ‘irreversible’. On the podcast, James says it puts them vulnerable political position: ‘As you see in Israel, where they’ve had to reintroduce the mask mandate, using the word “irreversible” when it comes to Covid is a political hostage to fortune.’

There has been a notable change in tone since Savid Javid become health secretary. In a piece for the Mail on Sunday over the weekend, he wrote that Brits will have to ‘learn to live with Covid and find ways to cope with it’ like we do the flu. Isabel says there has been a ‘wilful misunderstanding’ of Javid’s comments, with some, including Scottish Covid adviser Devi Sridhar, saying he was likening the severity of Covid to that of flu.

Isabel says: ‘I think we’re going to see a lot more of this over the coming weeks, not just from Labour but from certain people within the medical community – that the new health secretary doesn’t take Covid as seriously.’


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