Jul 5, 2021

Boris Johnson Briefing Transcript: Most COVID-19 Restrictions to End July 19

Boris Johnson Briefing Transcript: Most COVID-19 Restrictions to End July 19
RevBlogTranscriptsBoris Johnson TranscriptsBoris Johnson Briefing Transcript: Most COVID-19 Restrictions to End July 19

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson provided an update on the end of COVID-19 restrictions on July 5, 2021. Most coronavirus restrictions will end July 19. Read the transcript of the briefing speech here.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.

Boris Johnson: (00:08)
Good afternoon. Thank you very much for joining us. Today I want to set out what our lives would be like from the 19th of this month, which is only a few days away, if and when we move to step four, a decision we will finally take on the 12th. And I want to stress from the outset that this pandemic is far from over, it certainly won’t be over by the 19th. As we predicted in the roadmap in February, we’re seeing cases rise fairly rapidly. There could be 50,000 cases detected per day by the 19th, and again, as we predicted, we’re seeing rising hospital admissions, and we must reconcile ourselves, sadly, to more deaths from COVID. In these circumstances, we must take a careful and a balanced decision, and there’s only one reason why we can contemplate going ahead to step four in circumstances where we’d normally be locking down further, and that’s because of the continuing effectiveness of the vaccine rollout.

Boris Johnson: (01:17)
When we paused step four a few weeks ago, we had two reasons. First, we wanted to get more jabs into people’s arm, and we have, with over 45 million adults now having received a first dose, and 33 million a second. That is a higher proportion of the adult population of any European country except Malta. And our expectation remains that by July the 19th, every adult will have had the chance to receive a first dose, and two thirds will have received their second dose. And the second reason we paused was because we wanted a bit more time to see the evidence that our vaccines have helped to break the link between disease and death, and as the days have gone by, it has grown ever clearer that these vaccines are indeed successful, with the majority of those admitted to hospital unvaccinated. And Chris and Patrick will show the data highlighting the greatly reduced mortality that the vaccines have achieved.

Boris Johnson: (02:25)
So, as we come to the fourth step, we have to balance the risks. The risks of the disease, which the vaccines have reduced, but very far from eliminated, and the risks of continuing with legally enforced restrictions that inevitably take their toll on people’s lives and livelihoods, on people’s health and mental health. And we must be honest with ourselves that if we can’t reopen our society in the next few weeks, when we will be helped by the arrival of summer and by the school holidays, then we must ask ourselves, when will we be able to return to normal? And to those who say we should delay again, the alternative to that is to open up in winter, when the virus will have an advantage, or not at all this year.

Boris Johnson: (03:20)
So, again, without preempting the decision on the 12th of July, let me set out today our five point plan for living with COVID, in the hope that it will give families and businesses time to prepare. First, we will reinforce our vaccine more, reducing the dose interval for under 40s from 12 weeks to eight, so that everyone under 18 should be double jabbed by the middle of September, in addition to our autumn program of booster vaccines for the most vulnerable.

Boris Johnson: (03:54)
Second, we will change the basic tools that we have used to control human behavior, we’ll move away from legal restrictions and allow people to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus. From step four, we will remove all legal limits on the numbers meeting indoors and outdoors. We will allow all businesses to reopen, including nightclubs. We will lift the limit on named visitors to care homes, and on numbers of people attending concerts, theater, and sports events. We will end the one meter plus rule on social distancing, and the legal obligation to wear a face covering, although guidance will suggest where you might choose to do so, especially when cases are rising and where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed spaces, such as obviously crowded public transport.

Boris Johnson: (04:51)
It will no longer to be necessary for government to instruct people to work from home. So, employers will be able to start planning a safe return to the workplace. There will be no COVID certificate required as a condition of entry to any venue or event. Although, businesses and events can certainly make use of certification, and the NHS app gives you a COVID pass as one way to show your COVID status.

Boris Johnson: (05:22)
Third, we will continue from step four to manage the virus with a test, trace and isolate system that is proportionate to the pandemic. You will have to self-isolate if you test positive, or are told to do so by NHS test and trace. But we’re looking to move to a different regime of fully vaccinated contacts of those testing positive, and also for children. And tomorrow, the education secretary will announce our plans to maintain key protections, but remove bubbles and contact isolation for pupils.

Boris Johnson: (06:03)
Fourth, from step four we will maintain our tough border controls, including the red list, and recognizing the protection afforded by two does of vaccine, we will work with the travel industry towards removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals to isolate on return from an amber country, and the transport secretary will provide a further update later this week. Last, we will continue to monitor the data and retain contingency measures to help manage the virus during higher risk periods, such as the winter. But we will place an emphasis on strengthened guidance and do everything possible to avoid reimposing restrictions, with all the costs that they bring.

Boris Johnson: (06:57)
As we set out this new approach, I am mindful that today is the 73rd anniversary of our National Health Service, and there could not be a more fitting moment to pay tribute once again to every one of our NHS and social care workers. And the best thing we can do to repay their courage and dedication right now is to protect ourselves and others and get those jabs whenever our turn comes. Thank you very much. I’m now going to ask Patrick to do the slides.

Patrick Vallance: (07:28)
Thank you. Can I have the first slide please? This slide shows the number of people testing positive for COVID, from the first of September last year, through to today. What you can see is that obviously we had a peak in November, a big peak around January and February, and we are in the middle now of another increase in cases. It’s going quite steeply. The most recent seven day average is 25,447 cases. Today we say 27,334. So, the number of cases is increasing, the doubling time is roughly nine days. It’s mainly amongst younger people, but spreading up the age groups, and the office for national statistics estimate that roughly one in 210 people are now infected with COVID, approximately quarter of a million people. So, there’s no doubt we are now facing an increase in case numbers. Next slide please.

Patrick Vallance: (08:37)
This slide shows the number of people in hospital, and again, it goes from the first of September through to now. And what you can see is that there was again the peak of hospitalizations in November and a big peak in January and February. But in contrast to the very sharp increase in cases, we have got an increase in the number of people in hospital, but it’s not so steep. And you can see that there are, as of July the first, 1905 people in hospital with COVID-19, 358 people were admitted yesterday. The doubling time is slower than for cases, so it’s not rising as fast. But the hospitalizations are rising, and rising quite steeply in some places, and we would expect them to continue. So, essentially what this shows is that the vaccines have weakened the link between cases and hospitalizations, but it’s a weakened link, not a completely broken link. And we will still see increases in hospitalization, and as the cases get much higher, you would expect the hospitalizations to increase. Next slide please.

Patrick Vallance: (09:55)
That is even more evident when we look at deaths. And again, the same slide format from the first of September through to the first of-

Patrick Vallance: (10:03)
… from the 1st of September through to date, and what you can see is the large number of deaths that occurred and the first peak is illustrated in the dotted lines. You can see how it relates to the first peak. If you go to the right hand part of the slide, you can see it’s even difficult to see an increase in the number of deaths at the moment, but, and this is an important but, the deaths are increasing. They’re at low levels, but there’s an increase in deaths, just as there’s been an increase in hospitalization. We would expect that to continue also as the number of cases increases. Again, to reiterate: Cases going up, the link between cases and hospitalizations and cases and deaths is weakened, but not completely broken. We would expect to see some further increase. Next slide, please.

Patrick Vallance: (10:57)
The number of people who received vaccination is high, of course, across the country and that’s true for both first and second dose. Overall for first dose, something like 86% of the population over the age of 18 have had a first dose and a larger number of people because of the pause that was put in place, a larger number of people have now had a second dose as well. We’ve got a high level of vaccination coverage, again, making it more difficult for the virus to spread in these groups and protecting in terms of hospitalizations and deaths. I think the message from this set of slides are twofold really. First, if you haven’t had a vaccination and you’re eligible for one, get a vaccine, make sure you get the second dose. Second, that we are in the face of an increasing epidemic at the moment and therefore we need to behave accordingly in terms of trying to limit transmission spread. Thank you, Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (11:55)
Thanks very much, Patrick. Anything to add at this stage, Chris? Thank you very much.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (11:59)
Let’s go, first of all, to members of the public. We have Aaron from Kent.

Aaron: (12:03)
We have figures which tell us how effective the vaccines are to hospitalizations and deaths, but how effective is the vaccine to prevent a long COVID or lessen any of its effects? Thank you.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (12:14)
Thanks, Aaron. I’m going to I think ask our scientific, I’m going to ask Chris to answer that.

Professor Chris Whitty: (12:20)
Thanks, Prime Minister. I mean, I think at the moment, Aaron, the data are not really clear. I think we are confident that because the vaccines prevent people from getting COVID in a very high proportion of cases, that of course is a protection against long COVID, which is itself several different syndromes, almost certainly. If lots of people are vaccinated, that reduces the risk of transmission in the community. That’s one of the reasons why, as the prime minister said, vaccinating yourself protects yourself but also those around you. That also helps protect. But we do not yet know whether those people who have been vaccinated and then get COVID, whether it weakens or breaks the link between that and long COVID. I think that that, those data, will come out over the next few months.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (13:12)
Anything to add?

Speaker 1: (13:13)
No, I think that’s right. I mean, because vaccines reduce severe disease as well and we know that some parts of long COVID is associated in people who’ve had severe disease, I think there’s a reasonable expectation that that bit’s going to be diminished. As Chris said, we’ll find out over time the effects on the overall profile of long COVID.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (13:35)
Thanks very much, Aaron. Anita from greater London.

Anita: (13:39)
Hello. You said that we will hopefully be able to live with COVID like flu and that we have a very good vaccination program for flu. Presumably part of the success of our flu vaccination program is the inclusion of children. Therefore, will you be making the COVID vaccine available to all children should they wish to receive it in the near future? Thank you.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (14:00)
Thanks, Anita. Well, I know that the JCVI is looking at vaccinating children, but, Chris, would you like to answer that one?

Professor Chris Whitty: (14:06)
Thank you. It’s a really important question and what we’re really trying to work out at this point in time is the relative protection that the vaccines provide for children. But I think we’re very confident that vaccines would protect children to a high degree. But the second thing you need to know with all vaccines is about safety. This is the question that JCVI are rightly taking time to make sure they get all the data before they give final advice, because for any vaccine, what you want to be confident of is that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh any risks of the vaccine for the children involved. This would be true also, obviously, for adults. Because children have such a much lower rates of severe outcomes from COVID, this is one of the few good things with COVID, they have a very much lower rate of poor outcomes with the exception of a small number of children who’ve got things like neuro-disability. Therefore, we would need to have even greater confidence about the safety because the risk/benefit is potentially therefore going to be more marginal.

Professor Chris Whitty: (15:14)
That’s the reason why JCVI is rightly taking its time to get the evidence from around the world so that when we give advice, we can either say with confidence that it is safer for children to be vaccinated than to get infection or, alternatively, the other way round. But that data is coming in and will come in from other nations which are going a little ahead of the UK in terms of vaccinating children.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (15:43)
Thanks, Anita. Let’s go to the media, Vicki Young, BBC News.

Vicki Young: (15:50)
Prime Minister, you said you wanted to be honest with people and you’ve talked about the expected rise in cases, more people in hospital and sadly more will die. Can you tell us how bad you expect it to get after July and the restrictions being lifted. And to Professor Whitty, are you confident that hospitals can cope with this wave of cases? And to all three of you, in what circumstances would you continue to wear a mask?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (16:18)
Well, thanks, Vicki. I think the answer is that, obviously, we have to be cautious and we will continue to look at all the data as we progress. But don’t forget that we always did say there would be a third wave and the projections when we outlined the roadmap where for, sadly, more hospitalizations and, sadly, more deaths.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (16:47)
I think that the question that people have to ask themselves, as I said earlier on, is if we don’t go ahead now, when we’ve clearly done so much with the vaccination program to break the link between infection and death, if we don’t go ahead now when the summer firebreak is coming up, the school holidays, all the advantages that that should give us in fighting the virus, then the question is: When would we go ahead? Particularly given the likelihood the virus will have an extra advantage in the colder months in the autumn and the winter. We’d run the risk of either opening up at a very difficult time when the virus has an edge, has an advantage in the colder months, or, again, putting everything off to next year. I do think it’s going to be a very balanced decision next week. I want to stress that this is what we’re really doing today is setting out the conditions that we expect us all to be in from July the 19th, or not taking the final decision until July the 12th.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (17:55)
On your question about will I personally wear a mask, I think that, as I said earlier on, it will depend on the circumstances. I think that what we’re trying to do is move from a universal government diktat to relying on people’s personal responsibility. Clearly, there’s a big difference between traveling on a crowded tube train and sitting late at night in a virtually empty carriage on the main railway line. What we want to do is for people to exercise their personal responsibility, but to remember the value of face coverings, both in protecting themselves and others. But I know that Chris and Patrick want to add to that.

Professor Chris Whitty: (18:47)
Shall I answer the NHS question?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (18:48)
Yes, sorry.

Professor Chris Whitty: (18:49)
Then I’ll talk about my view whilst Patrick will add his.

Professor Chris Whitty: (18:53)
I mean, the NHS is an emergency service, so at one level, the answer is it will cope with anything because it is an emergency service. But, as Sir Patrick pointed out, there is now a doubling time for numbers of cases going into hospital. The number of cases going in a day at the moment is relatively low compared to previous waves, around about 300. But if you double up and then double up and then double up and double again, at a certain point you get, and in fact in a surprisingly small number of doublings, you get to really quite high numbers.

Professor Chris Whitty: (19:27)
The question is, at what stage along this path are the doublings times get getting to the point when the numbers are very high before we actually lead to a reduction because the peak of the epidemic happens? What the modeling would imply is that we will reach that peak before we get to the point where we have the kind of pressures we saw in January, for example, of this year. But inevitably with all models, you have to say that it is some degree of uncertainty. We are dealing with uncertainty and the prime minister and ministers are having to make difficult decisions-

Professor Chris Whitty: (20:02)
Certainty and the Prime Minister and ministers having to make difficult decisions with uncertainty as part of the decision process. In terms of wearing a mask, I would wear a mask under three situations and I would do so particularly at this point when the epidemic is clearly significant and rising. And the first is in any situation which was indoors and crowded or indoors with close proximity to other people. And that is because masks help protect other people, this is a thing we do to protect other people, as it’s by far its principle aim. The second situation I’d do it is if I was required to by any competent authority, I would have no hesitation about doing that and I would consider that within a reasonable and sensible thing if they had good reasons to do that. And the third reason is if someone else was uncomfortable if I did not wear a mask, as a point of common courtesy of course I would wear a mask. So under all those circumstances I would do so.

Speaker 2: (21:01)
Yeah, I’ve not got much to add, exactly the same in terms of mask wearing. And just a reminder mask are most effective at preventing somebody else catching the disease from you. They have some effect to prevent you catching it as well. And the situation you’re most likely to catch COVID in is indoors crowded spaces. So that’s the obvious place where mask wearing becomes an advantage.

Professor Chris Whitty: (21:29)
Great, thank you. Romilly Weeks ITV.

Romilly Weeks: (21:34)
If I could ask Professor Whitty first of all. We’re only three quarters of the way through the vaccination program, cases are at the highest level since February, why not finish vaccinating all adults before there’s significant locking? And to the Prime Minister as well, many scientists and doctors’ organizations as suggesting that measures like mask wearing must be kept in place in order to alleviate pressure on the NHS. Why are you ignoring their concerns?

Professor Chris Whitty: (22:01)
On the first one, I mean, firstly, to make the obvious point that decisions are made by ministers not by scientific advisors or medical advisors, but within the scientific views on this, there was a really clear consensus that under all circumstances some degree of further social distancing will be maintained, needs to be maintained even after the restrictions are lifted in law. And that’s been part of the roadmap all the way through, and that is widely supported by the scientific views. There was a pretty high degree of scientific agreement that the delay of four weeks that ministers chose to take was an extremely sensible thing to do. And I think the fact that things are played out as they have, I think reinforces that. But the view is more mixed about exactly what the right timing is from a technical point of view even before you get into issues that the Prime Minister has to deal with more widely. And these really come from the fact that at a certain point, you moved to the situation where instead of actually averting hospitalizations and deaths, you move over to just delaying them.

Professor Chris Whitty: (23:07)
So you’re not actually changing the number of people who will go to hospital or die, you may change when they happen. And there is quite a strong view that by many people, including myself actually, that going in the summer has some advantages, all other things being equal to opening up into the autumn when school is going back and when we’re heading into the winter period, when the NHS tends to be under greatest pressure for many other reasons. So it’s a very much more difficult technical decision now, even before ministers have to grapple with all the other things than it was in terms of the four week delay, where I think there was a very substantial degree of scientific agreement.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (23:48)
And Romilly just on your point about masks, I returned to what we’re trying to do with step four of the roadmap, which is getaway from government legal diktat to relying on personal responsibility. And I will obviously wear a mask in a crowded places where you’re meeting people that you don’t know, as Chris was saying, to protect others and as a matter of simple courtesy. But there’s a difference between that and I think everybody can understand that. And circumstances where you’ll find yourself sitting alone for hours late at night on a train with no one else in the compartment and then I think people should be entitled to exercise some discretion.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (24:36)
Beth Rigby, Sky News.

Beth Rigby: (24:39)
Thank you. Prime Minister, you promised a cautious but irreversible route out of lockdown. And now you’re about to get rid of all restrictions, a big bang approach even as to quote [inaudible 00:24:50] we’re in the face of an increasing epidemic. So the need to act accordingly to limit transmission, and yet you’re doing away with all those safeguards. I put it to you and I also put it to [inaudible 00:25:04] you just don’t seem to be committed to irreversibility either. You just said that you will do everything possible to avoid reimposing restrictions in the winter, so is this cautious or irreversible? And to Professor Whitty, you said at the beginning of the year it might be necessary to reintroduce some restrictions over the winter. What is your view of that now, given the delta variant and the vaccine? You said that back in January and so much has changed. And does the big bang unlocking this summer now make more restrictions in the winter, more or less likely in your view?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (25:40)
Well, Beth, I think that with great respect obviously to you, we can’t say that I’m being both incautious and also abandoning irreversibility. What we want to do is strike the right balance. And we are trying to move from a system of a very elaborate government rules to one in which we rely on people to exercise personal responsibility to follow guidance, mindful that, as I say, this pandemic is far from over. What we have achieved with the vaccine rollout has put us in a very strong position by comparison with many other countries in terms of the wall of protection that we have. But we must remain cautious. And I think that that’s why I’m asking people to think in that way. I don’t want people to feel that this is as it were the moment to get de-mob happy, this is the end of COVID. It is very far from the end of dealing with this virus. And I hope that that’s being clear from everything that you’ve heard from this press conference today.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (26:56)
And on the irreversibility point, obviously, if we do find another variant that doesn’t respond to the vaccines, if heaven forbid some really awful new bugs should appear, then clearly we will have to take whatever steps we need to do to protect the public. But on balance, given the massive success of the vaccine rollout, given the fact that this is a propitious moment, a good moment to do it given the coming summer holidays the natural firebreak we have there. And given the difficulty of then imagining us opening up in the context of the colder autumn winter months, I think this is a balanced and a cautious approach.

Professor Chris Whitty: (27:50)
In terms of you asked two questions. On the first one about the winter, I felt at the time I made a deeply uncontroversial statement, which is respiratory infections are more likely to surge in the winter. That seems to be true for the great majority, for lots of obvious and some less obvious reasons. So the winter is inevitably going to be tricky. And this winter, the NHS is likely to have both COVID and some resurgence of other respiratory viruses that were suppressed by the degree of lockdown last time around. So I think we should be realistic that this coming winter may be very difficult for the NHS, and I don’t think that’s a particularly controversial statement.

Professor Chris Whitty: (28:26)
In terms of things now, which would make that more or less likely. I think the thing which is against us, unfortunately, is not so much decisions by government, but the delta variant is more transmissible and that does make life more tricky. Anything that was difficult before gets that much more difficult with a more transmissible virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (28:46)
Thanks Beth very much. Jane Merrick, the i.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (28:54)
Jane you there?

Jane Merrick: (28:55)
Yeah. Sorry. Thank you Prime Minister. First of all, there was a study last week from ECL that was published showing the incredible mental health and education attainment damage to children. So can you guarantee that even if you have to reimpose any restrictions next winter, there will not be school closures on mass? And to Professor Whitty or Sir Patrick, do secondary school aged children need to be part of the vaccination program in order to achieve population immunity?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (29:28)
Thanks very much Jane. On your really good point about the damage to children’s education, we are doing everything we can to minimize that. We’ve got a massive catch-up plan as you know, but I think what a lot of people want to see, a lot of parents, a lot of teachers, a lot of peoples want to see is a different approach to outbreaks in schools. And we will be making sure, the secretary for education will be announcing later this week how are going to move away from the sending bubbles home, move away-

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (30:03)
… going to move away from sending bubbles home, and move away from contact isolation for people. So to greatly reduce the impact on schools, of COVID outbreaks in those schools. And obviously the way forward is by testing rather than sending the bubbles home. But… Patrick.

Patrick Vallance: (30:23)
Yeah, on the vaccine, clearly, the higher proportion of the population vaccinated, the greater the protection against spread. And that’s just true across all parts of the population. But the question in children is the one that Chris addressed earlier on, which is the relative risks to the individual from vaccination versus the relative benefits in terms of avoiding problems associated with COVID. And that is the balance, which JCVI need to strike in terms of getting data on those comparative risks for children. The higher the degree of immunity across the population, the greater the barrier to spread. But that’s a different question from which children should be vaccinated and when, which we need to wait for the JCVI to give us views on.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (31:15)
Thanks. Macer Hall, The Express.

Macer Hall: (31:21)
Thank you, Prime Minister. Professor Whitty, if I could ask you first, you talked about the possibility of resurgence of other respiratory diseases this winter. Can you see any prospect of COVID star restrictions such as school closures or maybe compulsory masks being used to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed by flu cases?

Macer Hall: (31:40)
And Prime Minister, you talked about employers starting to organize a safe return to work for employees who’ve been working from home. Some businesses would like to hear a very strong message that people need to get back to city centers to get the economy going again. Is your message to people to now get back to the office once we go ahead in ending the roadmap? And is the end of your roadmap, are you optimistic that that is the point that the economy will start, will ring back into life?

Professor Chris Whitty: (32:10)
I don’t think society has ever suggested that we should, in the face of seasonal flu, be taking the kind of really strong measures that were necessary for a pandemic of the scale of COVID. Now, obviously, if there was a flu pandemic, if we think back to the 1918, 19 flu pandemic, that was something that was on a really colossal scale, that’s a different situation. But for the seasonal flu flu that we deal with every year, I would be very surprised if society was wanting that to happen.

Professor Chris Whitty: (32:39)
But what we have demonstrated is that by simple measures, which we really must stick to for COVID; washing hands, covering mouths when coughing, all those things like that, we really must be doing those. And anything we do, which helps to reduce the risk of COVID to ourselves, our families, and those around us will also reduce the risk of other [inaudible 00:33:00] infections, including flu.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (33:02)
Yeah. Macer, so just on your cover point, the key thing is the government is no longer telling people that it’s necessary that they should work from home. And the rest is really for employees, employers to work out for themselves. But that change has been made possible by the success of the vaccine rollout. The overwhelming proportion of the workforce that had now had two jabs, and don’t forget that by the 19th, I think everybody over 40 will have had two jabs, and everyone over 18 will have had one jab. So talking about a huge wall of an immunity.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (33:45)
And on the recovery, I think it will be a strong recovery, and you’re already starting to see it. And that has been made possible by the certainties of the roadmap and the vaccines. Last question from Tim Ross of Bloomberg.

Tim Ross: (34:05)
Minister, before we get to July the 19th, there’s some football matches coming up. And I just wondered what your message was really to football fans who were planning to celebrate and businesses who are planning to accommodate them. Are you concerned that in any way, this could trigger some kind of super spreader event? We saw what happened with Cheltenham last year.

Tim Ross: (34:24)
And to Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance, we know that you model these things because you have released sage documents showing as much. This is quite a big moment for the country, and transparency is pretty important. So can you level with us all now and say exactly how many excess deaths, extra deaths these relaxations are likely to cause according to your best modeling estimates?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (34:50)
Tim, I think my advice to everybody would be to obviously to support England, enthusiastically but in a responsible way. And the events at Wembley clearly have particular conditions attached to them, particular testing requirements, which we will insist on.

Patrick Vallance: (35:11)
Just a quick point on that. I mean, again, the risk of spreading is greatest indoors environments, and therefore it’s very often not the big outdoor environment itself. It’s the indoor environments with crowded spaces around that, that become the risk, the spreading, and that’s where most super spreading events have occurred, in those sorts of environments. In terms of the modeling, everything is made public, the models that have been done at the starts of the roadmap and subsequently are there for people to see, they are just models, and therefore you have to take with some caution, the absolute amounts. There’s very wide uncertainty around it. What I will say is the modeling has been really quite accurate in terms of timing of the onset of this wave. And we do more modeling next week in the run-up to the decision on the 12th, and that will be made public in the usual way.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: (36:01)
Great. Thanks everybody. Thank you very much.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.