Apr 5, 2021

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript April 5

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript April 5
RevBlogTranscriptsBoris Johnson TranscriptsUK Prime Minister Boris Johnson COVID-19 Press Conference Transcript April 5

Boris Johnson held a Downing Street press conference on April 5, 2021 to provide updates on COVID-19 and vaccine distribution. He discussed easing lockdown measures. Read the full transcript of the briefing here.

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Boris Johnson: (06:05)
Good afternoon everybody. I hope you’re all continuing to enjoy the Easter break. And I know that over this weekend, millions of people have been able to see loved ones for the first time in months. And I want to thank you all again for your patience, because it is really clear now that this is paying off and it’s your collective efforts, our collective efforts that have given us the crucial time and space to vaccinate more than 31 million people. And I’m pleased we’ve also been able to support our overseas territory so that Gibraltar has become the first place in the world, one of the first places in the world to offer a vaccination to its entire adult population. And the net result of your efforts, and of course, of the vaccine rollout is that I can today confirm that from Monday the 12th of April, we will move to step two of our roadmap. Reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services like hairdressers. And of course, beer gardens and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.

Boris Johnson: (07:14)
And on Monday the 12th, I will be going to the pub myself and cautiously, but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips. We’re also increasing the number of visitors to care homes from one to two, to allow residents to see more of their loved ones. We think that these changes are fully justified by the data. Which show that we’re meeting our four tests for easing the lockdown, as Chris will shortly explain. But, and you know I’m going to say this. We can’t be complacent. We can see the waves of sickness afflicting other countries. And we’ve seen how this story goes. We still don’t know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases begin to rise, as I’m afraid that they will. And that’s why we’re saying, please get your vaccine, or you second dose when your turn comes. And please use the free NHS tests, even if you don’t feel ill. Because remember, one in three people with this virus doesn’t have any symptoms. And you can get these tests from pharmacies or your local test site. You can even order them on gov.uk and get home deliveries.

Boris Johnson: (08:38)
As part of our roadmap, we’re also publishing today on gov.uk The early thinking on our four reviews, on the safe return of major events. On social distancing, the potential role of COVID status certification and on the resumption of international travel. We set out our roadmap and we’re sticking in it. And I want to stress that we see nothing in the present data that makes us think that we will have to deviate from that roadmap. But it’s by being cautious, by monitoring the data at every stage and by following the rules. Remembering hands, face, space, fresh air, that we hope together to make this roadmap to freedom irreversible. Thank you very much, I’m now going to go to Chris for the slides.

Chris Whitty: (09:35)
Thank you Prime Minister. First slide please. The Government set out for tests and these just lay out some of the data that lie behind the decision that the tests had been met. The first test was that the vaccine deployment program continues successfully. And I think as everyone has seen over the last weeks, the vaccines are being rolled out by the NHS at a remarkable rate. Continuing to do so, over 31 million individuals have had their first dose. And we’re now in the situation where people at the highest risk are now beginning to get their second dose. And there are over 5.4 million people have received a second dose. So a first dose in around 60% of the adult population at this point in time.

Chris Whitty: (10:25)
So at this stage, that is heading very much in the right direction. Next slide please. The second question was whether there is evidence that vaccines are sufficient to actually reduce hospitalizations and deaths in people vaccinated. We had the original clinical trials, all of which were very reassuring. Both for the vaccines we currently have and indeed for vaccines we might get later in the year. But you have to see how things work in practice and looking at the data from people who’ve been vaccinated in the four nations of the United Kingdom, consistently we found a significant reduction.

Chris Whitty: (11:03)
[inaudible 00:11:01]. Consistently, we found a significant reduction in people that have symptomatic disease, estimated at around 60%, give or take. And for people having hospitalizations and more severe disease, around an 80% reduction from the first dose. That makes two points. Firstly, these vaccines are highly effective, but secondly, they’re not completely effective. And it is absolutely essential that everybody, as the prime minister has said, who is called for a second booster dose, goes to take that offer up, because it will increase the level of protection and almost certainly increase the duration of protection as well. Next slide, please.

Chris Whitty: (11:40)
The third test was that infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalizations, which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS. And here you can see the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 in the UK. And these have been falling steadily now from the peak and they are continuing to fall, which is really excellent news, because obviously hospitalizations then translate into people with long-term problems and deaths. And alongside this, the number of people who are dying has also been steadily decreasing, and at a faster rate than happened in the first peak. And that may well be because of a combination of the lockdown measures that everybody in the country has been involved in and done such a remarkable job on, plus the effects to the vaccines on top of that, which led to an even faster reduction in mortality. And the average number of deaths at the moment is running at around 47 deaths a day. It’s been lower numbers reported over the Easter weekend, unsurprisingly, but 47 a day on average. That’s down from the peak of around 1,300 earlier in the year. Next slide please.

Chris Whitty: (12:50)
The final test is our assessment of the risks not being fundamentally changed by new variants of concern. And throughout this, right from the beginning, we’ve said we do expect there to be variants of concern along the way. And some of those may potentially be ones that are more able to escape the vaccine. So this is going to be a continuing issue. But if you look at the numbers here in the UK, of the ones … and we have a very good testing capacity in the UK, some of the best in the world at the moment. And so we have a high degree of confidence in our capacity to test for variants. If you look at the top line with the B.1.1.7 variant, which is the dominant variant in the UK at the moment, over 170,000 confirmed cases.

Chris Whitty: (13:42)
The next one down, South African variant B.1.351, first described in South Africa … it may obviously have come from somewhere else. The total number of genetically confirmed there is a much smaller number, at 469. And proportion has stayed steady over time. So there is no evidence that this is increasing. We are, however, picking up more cases because of testing at borders. So as people come in, people are tested and some people are found to have variants. And they’re much smaller numbers, again, for two of the other variants that we’re concerned about, one that was first described from Brazil, and one of which was first described here in England. So at the moment, although variants of concern will remain an issue, there is no reason to feel that this fundamentally changes our positions. We’ve always known that this was a risk. So those are the four tests. And there’s of course a lot of other data, but these are just a snapshot of some of the data we have to support the government’s feeling that these tests have been met.

Boris Johnson: (14:45)
Thanks very much, Chris. Patrick, anything to add to that? Thanks. Let’s just go straight to Catherine from Basingstoke.

Catherine: (14:53)
When will residents of care homes, many of whom have not been outside in over a year, be allowed out for a walk or a socially distanced visit to a cafe or pub garden? I’m asking this on behalf of my 94 year old grandmother. Thank you.

Boris Johnson: (15:10)
Thank you very much, Catherine. And I think that Catherine, you speak on behalf of millions who want to see more flexibility for visiting elderly relatives in care homes and allowing them to do more. And I know it’s been a very, very tough time for those in care homes. We remember how hard our care homes were hit by that first wave of the pandemic. We’ve had to do everything we can possibly to protect them. What we’re doing from Monday, April the 12th, as I said just now, is we’re allowing more people to visit elderly relatives in care homes, going up from one to two. And Catherine, we’re doing a review right now on the specific request that you make, and I’m sure on behalf of many others, to try to get that going in a reasonable and a safe way. But you’ll hear a bit more about that, Catherine, later on in the next few days. Can we go to Matthew from Norwich?

Matthew: (16:14)
As more adults become protected due to the speedy vaccine roll out, is there a risk that COVID-19 could mutate and affect children more? If so, are scientists looking at vaccine for children also?

Boris Johnson: (16:28)
Excellent question from Matthew, but I think I’m going to ask Chris or Patrick.

Patrick: (16:33)
I’m happy to have a go at that. Well, I think there’s no evidence that the virus is going to mutate specifically to affect children. What may happen as more and more people become immune to the virus through vaccination is that the virus will try and get around that to try to escape the vaccine. That’s a normal process that viruses do. So we expect that over time, which is why over time, it may be necessary to update the vaccines. Maybe every year or every couple of years it will be necessary to have a slightly different vaccine for certain vulnerable groups. So that’s what we’d expect to change. In terms of vaccines for children, that is being looked at. It’d be the same vaccines. The Pfizer study read out last week that they’re looking at this in children. And so I’d expect to see more trials of vaccines in children over the next few months, but it’ll be the same vaccines.

Chris Whitty: (17:23)
Could I just add one point on this, which is one of the few good things about this epidemic, and there are almost none, is that children are relatively unaffected. But for that reason, you’d want to be absolutely confident that a vaccine was highly safe, because children are at relatively low risk, and therefore you want to be confident that the vaccine is incredibly safe if you’re using it in children. In older adults, of course the risk of COVID is incredibly high, so the risk ratios look different.

Boris Johnson: (17:53)
Thanks very much, Chris. Thank you, Matthew. To Ian Watson, BBC.

Ian: (18:00)
[inaudible 00:18:00], prime minister, obviously some good news today, but so on vaccine passports, they seem to have achieved the remarkable political feat of uniting a former labor leader and a former conservative leader against them, but 40 of your own MPs regard them as divisive. So first of all, if they are to be introduced, can you guarantee there will be a vote in parliament on this issue? And secondly, would you like to take this opportunity to reassure the skeptics of why it could be useful for big events? People will not need to take a certificate to the local pub to gain entry. And very briefly, if I can ask this too, on your review documents, they’re sounding pretty pessimistic about foreign travel going ahead in May. When do you think you’ll be able to tell us that people can book a foreign holiday?

Boris Johnson: (18:41)
Ian, thank you very much. Lots of very good points there. First of all, on COVID status certification, as we prefer to call it. I think the most important thing to say to everybody listening and watching is that there is absolutely no question of people being asked to produce a certification or a COVID status report when they go to the shops or to the pub garden or to the hairdressers or whatever on Monday. And indeed, we’re not planning that for step three, either. May the 17th, as you know, we’re hoping to go for the opening up of indoor hospitality and so on. We’re not planning for anything of that kind at that stage, but I think what is certainly true is that the idea of a vaccination status being useful for international travel is something that all countries are looking at.

Boris Johnson: (19:48)
I do think that’s going to be part of the way people deal with it, and we need to think about that. But there are basically three ingredients to your COVID certification, or three ways you can give reassurance to others if you go to a big mass event, or ways that people can be assured that the people in the room don’t have the risk of spreading COVID. And the number one is your immunity. So if you had the virus before, certainly in the last six months, you will have the antibodies. Number two, obviously, is vaccination status. But number three is testing. And testing really is valuable. I’ve been talking about this for a long time, but the NHS, as you know, is now offering free lateral flow tests.

Boris Johnson: (20:43)
So I do think that they are for asymptomatic people as well. I do think that they’re an important part of the way forward, but I want to stress that there are complicated ethical and practical issues, as I think I said last time, raised by the idea of COVID status certification using vaccination alone, just because after all, many people will be for one reason or another unable to get a vaccine, for medical reasons, for instance, or perhaps because they’re pregnant or whatever. So you’ve got to be very careful in how you handle this and don’t start a system that’s discriminatory, but obviously we’re looking at it. We want to be going ahead in the next few weeks with some test events and pilot events, which you can see in the road map that we’ve laid out, and big events like getting 20,000 people into Wembley on May the 15th, that kind of thing. Getting people back into a theater, that will unquestionably involve testing to allow the –

Boris Johnson: (22:03)
… involve testing to allow the audience to participate in the numbers that that people want. As for a vote on the issue, I think that we’re taking too many fences at once. First of all, we need to work out exactly what the proposal might be. But certainly if there’s something to put to Parliament, I’ve no doubt that we’ll be doing that. But I want to stress again, that that is not going to happen in Step Two, April the 12th, or Step Three, May the 17th. I hope that that helps.

Boris Johnson: (22:38)
Sorry, you also asked about aviation and international travel. Obviously, we’re hopeful that we can get going, from May the 17th. We’re hopeful, but I do not wish to give hostages to fortune or to under estimate the difficulties that we’re seeing in some of the destination countries that people might want to go to. We don’t want to see the virus being re-imported into this country from abroad. Plainly, there is a surge in other parts of the world, and we have to be mindful of that, and we have to be realistic.

Boris Johnson: (23:17)
What we’re going to do, the Global Travel Task Force is going to report later on this week. We will then be setting out well before May the 17th what we think is reasonable. I wish I could give you more on that, Ian. I know that people watching will want to know exactly what they can do from May the 17th, but we’re not there yet. As soon as we have solid information, more solid data, we’ll let you know. But that’s where we are for the time being.

Boris Johnson: (23:52)
I don’t think either of you guys need to address this point. Thank you very much, Ian. Let’s go to Shehab Khan of ITV.

Ian: (24:02)
Prime minister, I appreciate the plan to introduce COVID passports isn’t coming in the next few steps. But to expand on that idea, do you think it’s fair to expect people to show a certificate to do something that was once a normal activity and what support will you provide businesses who will have to enforce it? Are you expecting them to eventually turn people away who don’t have a certificate?

Ian: (24:22)
A second question, if I may. Research that was published in the British Medical Journal a few weeks ago found that adherence to test, trace and isolate was low. You’re now set to roll out this new mass-testing scheme, where you can get two rapid tests a week. How much compliance do you need for that to actually work? How can you be confident that it will work given that compliance levels of test, trace and isolate was so low?

Boris Johnson: (24:45)
Well, first of all, on your question about COVID status and certification, I really direct you to what I said just now to Ian. You’re taking too many fences at once, where Stages Two and Three don’t involve anything of the kind. When we have proposals, we’ll be setting them out.

Boris Johnson: (25:11)
On your point about test, trace and isolate, actually, I think that testing has been a massive advantage to this country. Our ability to conduct, I think, 112 million tests, the last number I saw, a huge proportion of the population already been tested. That’s one of the reasons, Shehab, that we’d been able to follow the path of the disease, to isolate its genomic sequence in the way that Chris was explaining just now, that’s why we know so much about the variants in this country that we face. It’s been of massive use to us in fighting the disease.

Boris Johnson: (25:52)
I think that lateral-flow testing will be of great advantage to us all as we go forward. I mean, I do lateral flow test before I go out on a visit to test whether or not I might conceivably be infectious. I think it’s a sensible thing to do. The NHS is now offering, as I say, these free tests, and I think people should use them.

Boris Johnson: (26:19)
[inaudible 00:26:19]

Patrick: (26:20)
I mean, lateral-flow tests are effective at picking up people who are infectious. They’re not 100% effective, so a negative doesn’t mean you absolutely haven’t got it. But a positive, that is useful to identify those people who then need to isolate. You’re right that testing alone isn’t what matters. It matters if you’re positive and it’s a true positive, you isolate. Lateral-flow tests are definitely part of a way of trying to pick up more people who otherwise wouldn’t be picked up.

Boris Johnson: (26:46)
Thank you. Beth Rigby, Sky.

Beth Rigby: (26:47)
Thank you. Prime Minister, on February the 22nd, when you announced your roadmap, you said the vaccination program would create a shield around the entire population and put us on a one-way road to freedom. But now after June the 21st, it looks like you’re asking us to have twice-weekly testing and it’s likely that we’ll have to carry around some form of COVID certification. Is that your vision now for what freedom looks like for all of us and how long are we going to actually have to live like this?

Beth Rigby: (27:22)
To Professor Whitty, Chile has one of the world’s fastest vaccination rates, but it’s also just had to close its borders to slow the spread of COVID and stop the influx of new variants from abroad. Is there anything we can learn from the Chile experience, and are there any implications of it on our own summer holidays?

Boris Johnson: (27:45)
Beth, first of all, Chris I’m sure will want to answer the question about Chile, but on the vision for the future and what the world will be like after June the 21st, I think a great deal depends on the continuing success of the vaccine rollout and us continuing to satisfy the full tests. If things continue to go well, I do think that for many people, in many ways, life will begin to get back to at least some semblance of normality. But we’re still some way off there. We’ve got to be guided by the data and we’ve got to make sure that we follow the roadmap. That’s the way to get there.

Boris Johnson: (28:31)
I think that a world in which we continue to have testing is not going to be too onerous, but your slightly putting the cart before the horse. We need to make sure we get through Stage Two right. We get through the April the 12th openings, get through the May the 17th openings all right, if we can. Then June the 21st, we finally open up a lot of things that we couldn’t open up last year. I think that things will feel really very different for the first time in a long time, but we’ve got to be pretty cautious to get there. I think we’re still on target. I want to repeat one key thing I said earlier on, there’s nothing in the data that I can see today that would cause us to deviate from the roadmap as things stand.

Chris Whitty: (29:32)
On the question you asked me, I mean, Chile provides one important example. I think the other extreme, Israel, provides another. Two countries that have got very extensive vaccination. In Israel, the rates have really gone down and are staying down for the moment. I think it’s really important we now watch that. In Chile, as you say, a significant, remarkable effort by the Chilean people to vaccinate, to vaccinate at a high level, which is excellent, but they have not had quite the same effect. Now is this due to the vaccines used? Is this due to the timing of when things have actually been rolled out? Is it due to particular interactions with other variants? We don’t yet know. I think the implication of your question, which is we absolutely need to learn from those countries that are ahead of us, or alongside us, in terms of vaccine rollout. Those are two of the key ones, but there are others.

Chris Whitty: (30:28)
As we get more data, I think the information from other countries, as well as the information from our own epidemiology will tell us actually how much can we gradually lower our guard. But this is the reason we want to do things in a steady way, because the assumption that just you vaccinate lots of people and the problem goes away, I think Chile is quite a good kind of corrective to that. This is something we got to take steadily.

Boris Johnson: (30:53)
Thanks very much. Jane Merrick, The i.

Catherine: (30:58)
Thank you, Prime Minister. Can I just ask a factual question, which is, what about children in relation to vaccine passports? Will they be required to have these certificates?

Catherine: (31:09)
Secondly, Prime Minister, it’s a year to the day since you were admitted to hospital with coronavirus, did you imagine back then that we would still be in the pandemic one year on? And if I could also ask that of Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick.

Boris Johnson: (31:26)
First of all, on the vaccine passport question, again, Jane, you’re slightly taking your fences all at once. We’re way off implementing or enacting anything of the kind for anybody, let alone children. I’ve spelt out the ways in which we might think of doing that, but it’s not for Steps Two and Three, in any event.

Boris Johnson: (31:53)
I suppose a year on, I’m actually filled with amazement that science has produced so many vaccines. I remember having this conversation with Patrick and Chris many times, and I was a great believer, and still am, in the virtues of testing as a way through, because I could see this thing would keep going and keep going for a long time; but I never thought that we would get so many workable vaccines in such a short order, when you consider that we haven’t got one, we haven’t got vaccines against SARS or AIDS or whatever. I think that’s the most stunning thing about the last year.

Chris Whitty: (32:34)
Well, I mean, I fairly consistently from the beginning, as did most scientists, said, “Now this is widespread. It’s going to stay with us for a very long time.” I don’t think that it’s any surprise that it is still with us now, nor is this going to magically disappear over the next few months. This virus we with us for the foreseeable future. But as the prime minister just said, science is, over time, going to de-risk it. It is doing so very substantially with the vaccines. I think the thing which has surprised me, if-

Chris Whitty: (33:03)
So very substantially with the vaccines. I think the thing which has surprised me, if anything, is the speed with which we’ve got the number of vaccines we have, rather than the fact that we’ve still got a virus now, but we will have significant problems with COVID for the foreseeable future and I don’t think we should pretend otherwise.

Boris Johnson: (33:16)
Yeah, that is right.

Patrick: (33:17)
I think exactly the same. I think before the first wave hit us, we were worried that there would be a second wave and a third wave after it, that seemed likely, and unfortunately that’s been born out across the world. I echo what the others have said that the miracle in this is to end up with such effective vaccine so quickly, really a remarkable scientific triumph.

Boris Johnson: (33:39)
Thanks, Macer Hall, The Express.

Ian: (33:45)
Thank you, prime minister. If I could ask the scientists, the government review document today, he doesn’t give much away about when social distancing measures might start to disappear. Can you update us at all on when people who have been vaccinated will be able to safely hugged their friends and family. And prime minister, some people have said that COVID status certification certificates or passports or whatever you want to call them are like ID cards they’re un-British, are they wrong?

Boris Johnson: (34:19)
You guys, firstly.

Patrick: (34:22)
On the rollout of vaccines and the effects of that. I mean, clearly the roadmap lays out the steps and the next step in terms of being able to see people indoors would be 17th of May, if the data are in the right direction. And that’s true for people who are vaccinated or on vaccinated, it’s true, right the way across the community. So that doesn’t change. And what also doesn’t change is that in that five week period, it’s going to be necessary to look at data and we won’t be able to do that until week four. So we won’t really know what the impact is. And we don’t know what the impact is yet of the changes on the 29th of March. So I think there’s a lot to do following the opening up of step two, which looks a very reasonable thing to do and all the modeling suggest step two on its own shouldn’t have a big impact. We need to watch that, measure it and see it after week four. And I think only when we get through these steps, can we then start looking at some of the other aspects as well.

Patrick: (35:18)
Social distancing, I think one needs to sort of understand what that might mean longer term. And it probably means things like hand hygiene, things like the fact that people will take time off if they get ill, stay at home rather than going into work. So taking time to take yourself out, testing to know whether you’ve got it or not. Those sorts of things I think are likely to be important baseline measures going forward.

Chris Whitty: (35:44)
If I could just add one thing to this, which is, as you go through the vaccination program, the protection to you steadily increases. First from the first vaccine, then from the booster vaccine increases your protection and I hope your newspaper will encourage your readers to get their second vaccines. Absolutely essential. Then the fact that people who are around you, you actually physically meet, have had their first and then their second vaccine that provides another layer of protection around you. And then finally the fact that vaccines across a wide part of the population keep the rates down, so the probability is low. But remember the number of people who actually got the virus at the moment is about one in 370. So, we really want to get those rates down further before we start to feel that the society as a whole has got quite a low level of COVID.

Boris Johnson: (36:36)
Yeah. So, I mean, I think that the principle of requiring some people to have a certificate to prove that they’re not passing on a disease like surgeons who have to show that they’re vaccinated against Hep B or whatever, that can be a sensible one. But I want to stress that we’re some way off finalizing any plans for COVID certification in the UK. The crucial thing is for everybody to get out and get their vaccination when you’re asked to come forward. As Chris says, get your second dose when you’re asked to come forward. The uptake at the moment is fantastic and that’s very, very important that it should continue. And I think we’re seeing something like 99.75% uptake for the second doses, which is terrific and that’s what we want to see.

Boris Johnson: (37:35)
Last question, Stefan Boscia City A.M.

Stefan Boscia: (37:41)
Thank you Prime minister, you said earlier that it was too early to give a date for the resumption of international travel, but can you commit to give the aviation sector at least three to four weeks notice of when this date will be to ensure that they have some sort of clarity and certainty going forward? And secondly, if I may, London has been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID. The unemployment rate here is now 2% higher than the rest of the country and yet your government hasn’t given TFL a long-term funding settlement, the aviation sector in Heathrow Airport don’t seem to have any idea about when they can start again and there doesn’t appear to be any plans to give Central London targeted economic support, despite being the nation’s most important economic hub. As a former mayor of London, why haven’t you done more to safeguard the capital’s long-term future?

Boris Johnson: (38:29)
So thanks very much Stefan. On the aviation issue, we’re going to give as much notice as we possibly can. We’re going to want to get the country flying again, we continue to support the aviation industry in all kinds of ways. But the best thing for them is to get flying and that’s absolutely critical. I also happen to think that the London economy is capable of bouncing back very strongly. And the way to do that is to get people back into the center, get the shops open again, get people moving again, get the agglomeration effects of a gigantic metropolis, like London working again. But that requires people to be safe, it requires people to be confident and it requires the vaccine rollout to continue to be successful until we get to steps three and four, and then I think you really will see a big change in the way we live our lives.

Boris Johnson: (39:28)
Now, I don’t think that’s necessarily going to come in a rush. I think people will take time, I think a lot of people have learned to work more from home during the pandemic. But my experience is when I was running TFL, is that actually there’s a kind of paradox of remote communication, which I mentioned before, the more people I spend time trying to communicate by Zoom and on all sorts of remote electronic communication, the more they hunger and thirst actually for direct contact with the people that they need to talk to. So I think that we’ll all come back, it may take a while, Stefan, for it to come back, but I’ve absolutely no doubt that London will bounce back very strongly. Particularly once we get the life going again in the artistic, the cultural sector, the theaters, all the rest. Once that just starts going again and, as you can see from the roadmap, how that can happen, I think there’ll be a really big change in London.

Boris Johnson: (40:26)
As for the finances of TFL, I must respectfully remind you that I left them in robust, good order, and it is not through any fault of my own and the current Labour Mayor decided to blow them on an irresponsible fair policy. We’re doing our best to help them out and we’ll continue to do so, but I’m afraid you’ve got to look at some of the decisions that were taken by the current Labour mayor as well. I hesitate to make a point like that, but since you rightly draw attention to the fact that I’m a proud former mayor of London, I do think we could look at the way TFL has been run. That doesn’t mean we aren’t going to continue to support, of course we are. But we need to have some responsibility from the mayor as well. And there was, I’m afraid of black hole, in TFL’s finances even before COVID began, as I’m sure you will recollect and your readers will recollect.

Boris Johnson: (41:29)
Okay, everybody well on that slightly London centric note, we’re going to end. But there you go, the roadmap continues to be one that we all sticking to like glue. All the data that I can see suggests to me that we have no reason to deviate from it, we’re going to get to step two on April the 12th. And at the moment, things still seem set fair for May the 17th, but we will keep everything constantly under review. Thank you all very much.

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