Zahawi ‘confident’ Covid restrictions will be lifted July 19 despite infection rise

Zahawi: I’m confident we can proceed to step four

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The vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has praised the hugely successful vaccination programme as the reason why Britain can lift Covid restrictions. He told Trevor Phillips On Sunday on Sky News that Boris Johnson would make an announcement on Monday. He said: “We’re seeing a rise in infection rates in this country, but also in Europe and elsewhere. The difference for us is that the vaccination programme has been so successful.”

But people have been urged not to ignore the NHS Covid app if they are advised to self-isolate, after cases of the dominant Delta variant rose by a third in the past week.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it is important that people continue to use the app, amid concerns about the increasing numbers being “pinged” as restrictions are rolled back.

Mr Zahawi added the Government was looking at ways to tweak the NHS app.

He explained the Covid app “was developed and operationalised at a time when we didn’t have vaccines”.

He said: “The team are looking at how we use that app in terms of alerting people to those around them who test positive.”

And he added: “It’s important to look at that in a new context of this massive vaccination programme and make sure that it is fit for purpose for this new world including, for example, being able to take maybe five days, as we have piloted, of lateral flow tests and upload them to the system rather than having to self-isolate.”

He added that he would not be drawn on whether the Government would create a one-off bank holiday if England won Euro 2020 on Sunday.

Asked about the prospect on Trevor Phillips On Sunday on Sky News he said he was “not going to jinx that”.

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He added that he would not be drawn on whether the Government would create a one-off bank holiday if England won Euro 2020 on Sunday.

Asked about the prospect on Trevor Phillips On Sunday on Sky News he said he was “not going to jinx that”.

More to follow…

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