Govt to remain 'cautious and careful' in lifting lockdown restrictions, Raab tells LBC

13 June 2021, 12:03

LBC: 'Careful and cautious' approach to easing lockdown

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

The government will continue its "cautious and careful" approach to easing lockdown restrictions, Dominic Raab has told LBC.

The foreign secretary said ministers continue to look at crucial coronavirus data, which is "coming in all the time" ahead of Boris Johnson's final decision to be announced on Monday.

Mr Raab repeated the government's dedication to the 'four tests' which need to be met for most of the remaining restrictions to be lifted on 21 June.

Read more: Spread of Delta variant is 'serious, serious concern', says PM

Explained: What is the next stage of lockdown easing?

Asked whether the UK met the tests, he said: "We've always said we need to track very carefully four criteria but probably the biggest one is the link between the transmission of the virus and hospitalisation.

"We know that 78 per cent of adults have had their first vaccine and 55 per cent of them have had the second dose, and it's when you've had that second dose that you've got the strongest protection, not just against the virus but also the variant."

Boris Johnson will reveal on Monday whether lockdown restrictions can be eased further on 21 June
Boris Johnson will reveal on Monday whether lockdown restrictions can be eased further on 21 June. Picture: PA Images

Mr Raab refused to be drawn on whether 21 June will go ahead but said "the end is near" and the "light is at the end of the tunnel".

He continued: "The question is just have we got far enough? But let's make that decision based on the data and based on the evidence - I think that's what the public wants to see."

The prime minister on Saturday called the spread of the Delta variant - first discovered in India - a matter of "serious, serious concern".

Read more: Covid ceiling alarm developed 'to detect virus in a room within 15 minutes'

Original estimates suggested the variant was around 40 per cent more infectious than the Alpha variant - first identified in Kent - but fresh data suggests it is around 60 per cent more transmissible.

The UK reported almost 50,000 new cases in the past seven days - up 53 per cent on the previous week.

Many of the cases are in the Greater Manchester and Lancashire, where the number of people being admitted to hospital with the virus is beginning to climb once again.

The UK's creative and hospitality industries face a devastating delay to lockdown easing
The UK's creative and hospitality industries face a devastating delay to lockdown easing. Picture: PA Images

Businesses are awaiting the much-anticipated decision from the PM, with many - particularly the hospitality, tourism and cultural sectors - set to take the biggest hit if the final step in the lockdown roadmap is delayed.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote a letter to Mr Johnson on Friday, warning that "vital components of London’s vibrant history and global reputation, some of which have been closed since March 2020, are at risk of catastrophic collapse".

Read more: Sadiq Khan tells Boris Johnson: London is ready to fully reopen on 21 June

Greater Manchester's Night Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord, tweeted on Saturday that businesspeople in the region were "at their wits end"

"The toll on peoples mental health is at tipping point," he said.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

New Zealand Volcano Trial

Tour operators told to pay £6.27m over volcanic eruption

Ex-Labour MP George Galloway has stormed to victory in the Rochdale by-election

Former Labour MP George Galloway storms to victory in Rochdale by-election after chaotic campaign

Israel Palestinians Rafah Photo Gallery

Israeli troops ‘fire on people waiting for aid’ as Gaza death tolls hits 30,000

The vote-counting got underway on Thursday evening.

George Galloway claims he’s on track for ‘comfortable’ victory in Rochdale by-election following divisive campaign

The scheme could cost more than £500m, a watchdog report has found.

Rwanda scheme could cost taxpayer more than £500m, watchdog report finds

The trust where Valdo Calocane was treated has been rated inadequate

Staff at mental health trust that treated Nottingham killer Valdo Calocane 'falsified records and assaulted patients'

Bangladesh Fire

Dozens killed in fire at shopping centre in Bangladesh capital

Former Ambassador Arrested

Former career US diplomat admits spying for Cuban intelligence for decades

Kensington Palace issued a statement addressing well-wishers' concerns.

Kensington Palace issues fresh statement on Kate’s health following concerns amid speculation

On Thursday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is a big supporter of the arts and he believes that the arts should be inclusive and open to everyone.

'Wrong and divisive': No. 10 condemns theatre 'Black Outs' after West End show announces exclusive performances

Rishi Sunak has spoken out after the report into Wayne Couzens

Rishi Sunak says police must make 'urgent changes' after Couzens report, following 'chilling, abominable' murder

Donald Trump

Trump appeals against decision to remove his name from Illinois primary ballot

Staff said the increase relates to a greater number of Albanian children entering asylum hotels since the 2022 inspection.

UK border control is 'neither effective nor efficient', sacked watchdog says, with 147 child migrants still missing

Jess Phillips has said the person who allowed Couzens' employment should be 'for the chopping block'.

Person who allowed Wayne Couzens to be employed ‘has to be for the chopping block’, Jess Phillips tells LBC

Christian Horner

Christian Horner breaks silence after 'texts leaked', as Red Bull F1 boss cleared of inappropriate behaviour claims

The man was found at his home in Herne, Germany.

Horror as man found with ‘penis bitten off and eaten by pet dog’ after neighbours reported relentless barking