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UK to mark ‘freedom day’ amid surge – Eagles Vine

LONDON: British PM Boris Johnson and finance minister Rishi Sunak will both self-isolate in line with national guidance, abandoning heavily criticised plans to take part in a pilot scheme that would have allowed them to continue working. The U-turn comes a day after health minister Sajid Javid said he had tested positive for Covid-19.
Almost all remaining restrictions in England will be lifted on Monday despite a surge in infections as ministers put their faith in the advanced vaccine programme. Cases are rising by more than 50,000 a day and hundreds of thousands of Britons are being asked to self isolate for 10 days, causing havoc for employers and parents, prompting train cancellations and forcing some businesses to close their doors.
The government announced at 0700 GMT (12.30pm IST) that Johnson and Sunak had been exposed to a person with Covid-19 and would take part in a trial scheme that allowed them to keep working instead of self-isolating. But less than three hours later that decision had been reversed after a flurry of criticism from voters, political opponents and business owners. “We did look briefly at the idea of us taking part in the pilot scheme… but I think it’s far more important that everybody sticks to the same rules,” Johnson said in a video message from his country residence, where he will isolate until July 26. Opposition politicians had said it was hypocritical for Johnson and Sunak to have tried to exempt themselves from some of the rules.
Housing minister Robert Jenrick, meanwhile, confirmed that the government would go ahead with its “freedom day” plan on Monday, removing the requirement to wear face masks, lifting limits on social gatherings and allowing high-risk businesses to reopen. Johnson used his video message to plead with the public to take a cautious approach to the change of rules. “Please, please, please, be cautious,” he said. “Go forward tomorrow into the next step with all the right prudence and respect for other people, for the risks that the disease continues to present and, above all, please, please, please when you’re asked to get that second jab … please come forward and do it.”


timesofindia.indiatimes.com

The Times of India

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper and digital news media owned and managed by The Times Group. According to Audit Bureau of Circulations, it is ranked 9th in the world by circulation and 3rd in India.

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