Reaction from Alan White, Leader of Staffordshire CC, on the latest Covid-19 announcement

In a press conference this evening, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the country is on track to lift many of the remaining Covid-19 restrictions on July 19, with a final decision on this expected on July 12.

The Prime Minister outlined a 5-point plan for living with Covid, which includes an autumn program of booster jabs for the most vulnerable, removal of limits on the number of named visitors to care homes, and the ending of the 1m plus social distancing rule.

The legal requirement to wear a face covering will end, and will be replaced with guidance on where people might want to wear one.

Alan White, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “The Prime Minister’s announcement that the Government expects to lift many of the remaining Covid-19 restrictions is good news and will be welcomed by Staffordshire’s residents and businesses. “It’s been a long road to get to here, and it’s down to people’s hard work and sacrifices over the past 18 months that we can finally get back our freedoms.

“The vaccine has been a game changer and has meant that whilst we are still seeing a lot of infections, we are not seeing high numbers of hospitalisations or deaths. This emphasises how important it is for people to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Getting vaccinated is the best way of protecting ourselves and others from serious illness, and preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed.

“It is important that we have a final push in the next couple of weeks to try and keep cases down to give us a chance to vaccinate more people. That means continuing to be careful to avoid spreading the virus – especially in pubs where we have seen a lot of outbreaks

associated with the Euro 2020 matches. We are particularly keen to vaccinate younger adults – most of them have had their first dose already and we now have a fortnight to vaccinate the rest.”

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