Boris Johnson 'can't guarantee' so-called 'Freedom Day' is irreversible

19 July 2021, 20:14 | Updated: 19 July 2021, 21:46

PM cannot guarantee roadmap is irreversible

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Boris Johnson has admitted he "can't guarantee" England's roadmap is irreversible while delivering a press briefing on so-called 'Freedom Day'.

Speaking from isolation at Chequers during the Downing Street coronavirus news conference, the prime minister said some restrictions could be rowed back on if necessary.

Announcing his roadmap in February, Mr Johnson said lockdown measures would happen in a "cautious but irreversible" manner.

Elsewhere, he told the press the country will "be going one way from now on" thanks to the UK's vaccination programme.

Read more: Blow to nightclubs as Covid passports to be used from autumn

Read more: Covid jabs will be rolled out to vulnerable children over age of 12

Dr Rachel Clarke takes aim at Boris Johnson after press briefing

But in recent weeks, the PM has taken a small step back from those comments, adding that the roadmap will only be irreversible if people "proceed with caution".

Last week, he said he "hoped" it would be irreversible, and claimed that "we've always said that".

On Monday, Mr Johnson repeated this claim while updating the nation on what has come to be known as 'Freedom Day'.

Read more: PM defends 'Freedom Day' as most restrictions lift in England

Read more: Majority of Covid patients not double-jabbed - Chief Scientific Adviser

PM explains why it's 'essential' for people to test, trace and isolate

"I want to repeat what I said last week, and perhaps the week before about this, the roadmap is, we hope, irreversible. I think I said that from the get-go," he told the press briefing.

"We can't guarantee that. Something could obviously happen that changes our calculations. We've got to be humble in the face of nature."

The PM added that a new variant could scupper the government's plans, before saying: "I've always been very clear about that."

Mr Johnson continued: "The only way we can make the roadmap irreversible is by continuing to be cautious.

"That, I'm afraid, is why we've got to continue with the measures that we are, and continuing with the routines that we have, such as Test, Trace and Isolate. But above all, continue to focus on the vaccination campaign and getting a jab."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Shani Louk (left), Itzhak Gelerenter and Amit Buskila.

'No father would want to hear this': Shani Louk's family speak out after Nova festival victim's body discovered in Gaza

Maths teacher Rebecca Joynes was found guilty of having sex with two schoolboys

Female teacher, 30, given one last chance to see baby after being found guilty of having sex with two schoolboys

Steve Buscemi

Man charged over random assault on actor Steve Buscemi in New York

Obit Dabney Coleman

Actor Dabney Coleman, who specialised in curmudgeons, dies aged 92

David DePape, 44, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in the US.

Man who attacked Nancy Pelosi's husband with hammer sentenced to 30 years behind bars

Scottie Scheffler was detained by police near the PGA Championship course

World No1 golfer Scottie Scheffler 'in shock' after being arrested as he reveals he warmed up for US PGA in jail cell

Charles, Camilla and William will join forces to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day

King Charles to make first overseas trip since cancer diagnosis for D-Day anniversary event with Camilla and William

Manchester Pride says its survey has found 45% of LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester are calling for more action to tackle hate crimes.

'Nearly half' of LGBTQ+ people calling for more action to tackle hate crimes, survey reveals

Dana Abuqamar, 19, has said she's had her student visa revoked

Palestinian student who faces deportation over October 7 comments insists she was not referring to Hamas

David DePape

Man convicted of attacking Nancy Pelosi’s husband with hammer sentenced to jail

France New Caledonia Unrest

Violence in New Caledonia subsides slightly as France sends in reinforcements

Itzhak Gelerenter, Shani Louk and Amit Buskila

Bodies of three hostages killed at October 7 music festival recovered in Gaza

Floating pier

First deliveries of aid for Gaza Strip move across newly built floating pier

Max the cat on a wall

Max the friendly cat awarded honorary degree by US university

Maths teacher Rebecca Joynes has been found guilty of having sex with two schoolboys

How maths teacher Rebecca Joynes ruined her ‘dream career’ as she’s found guilty of sex with two schoolboys

Shani Louk, Itzhak Gelerenter and Amit Buskila

Bodies of three hostages, including Shani Louk kidnapped at Nova music festival, recovered by Israel in Gaza