Backsliding on a lockdown end-date has begun already

Will England’s lockdown end on 2 December? Even before this morning’s media round there was good reason to suspect it might not. The first national lockdown – we were originally told – would be for three weeks, with the explicit aim of building more capacity in the National Health Service. But the goalposts shifted and three weeks turned into more than three months: despite daily Covid deaths peaking in April, pubs and restaurants didn’t reopen until early July. Weeks later gyms and other leisure sectors followed, and public transport guidance changed to encourage employees back to their offices. This morning, half a day after the Prime Minister laid out his