Mon, 16 May 2022

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Press releases

Boris Johnson Has Ducked Questions On What He Will Do If The R-Rate Is Rising By December

Boris Johnson Has Ducked Questions On What He Will Do If The R-Rate Is Rising By December
2 min read

Boris Johnson has ducked questions on whether lockdown restrictions will be lifted on December 2, even if the rate of coronavirus infection is climbing.

Mr Johnson has insisted that the restrictions will come to an automatic end next month and that the country will go back to the three tier system. 

Labour leader Keir Starmer said the Prime Minister needed to be honest with the public about lifting lockdown, even in a scenario of the R-rate rising.

If Mr Johnson did go ahead with easing restrictions in spite of a rising infection rate, he said it would be "madness". 

"That doesn't seem sensible to me," Starmer said at Prime Minister's Questions today.

Mr Johnson replied: "It is thanks to the efforts of the British people that the R is now currently only just above one as it as it is.

"And we are doing the right and the prudent thing at the right time to get that infection rate down and these measures as I've said repeatedly...will expire on 2 Dec.

"If he's now saying he wants to expand it beyond that...then perhaps he should make his position clear."

Mr Starmer said: "I just want some basic honesty and this is serious. If the infection rate is still going up on the 2 December, it is madness, to come out of the system back to the tier system.

"We all know the one thing that the tier system can't cope with is an R-rate above one."

He also challenged the Prime Minister on the test and trace programme, claiming that latest figures show that 113,000 contacts were not reached over a period of a week and only 20 percent of those who should be self-isolating are doing so. 

The Prime Minister has four weeks to fix these issues, he suggested. 

Mr Johnson said the autumn measures expire on December 2 and he hopes shops will be able to open again in the run up to Christmas. 

However he said it will be up to the House of Commons to decide "thereafter, what to do".  

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Kate Proctor and John Johnston - Government Accused Of A "Cynical Gamble" With Vulnerable People's Lives By Ending Covid Isolation Rules

Partner content
Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

Find out more