NEWS.CATEGORY: Health and safety

Johnson 'gung ho gambling' over lifting Covid restrictions

Social distancing signs on station floor

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has accused Boris Johnson of 'gambling with lives' over the lifting of Covid restrictions in England later this month. Cortes said the Prime Minister was sticking to a 'gung ho' strategy even while admitting that the pandemic was far from over.

Speaking at Downing Street Johnson said the legal duty on wearing face coverings will end but guidance may remain, especially where you are in crowded places like public transport. The rule of six inside private homes will be removed and instructing people to work-from-home will also go..

The PM said he expected the final step would happen as planned on 19 July but this will be confirmed on 12 July.

Manuel Cortes said: 

"We are still very much in a pandemic, something that the scientists in Downing Street recognise, even if the Prime Minister seems not to. Opening up on this scale while infection rates are rising is simply gambling with lives.

"Johnson risks the virus mutating into variants which may become resistant to the current vaccines by taking a gung ho approach to the relaxation of restrictions.

"Let’s not forget that throughout Europe where restrictions have been relaxed the requirement to wear a mask in enclosed public settings remains. Just look at Gibraltar whose vaccination record is second to none and has rightly been praised by the government here.

"When it comes to public transport Johnson’s mixed messaging is the worst of all worlds. He wants to ditch masks but would still wear one if on a busy train. That hardly provides the certainty our industry and the public so badly need."