Star comment: Decision to make for Boris Johnson

In a matter of days, we will know which way our Prime Minister has decided to turn. Boris Johnson has to make a finely balanced judgement on whether it is right and proper to proceed with the end to social distancing on June 21. It is a momentous decision, one in which there is no room for error.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Get it right and businesses can look forward to repairing some of the damage caused by a once-in-300-years economic shock. Get it wrong and our economy will suffer further, multi-billion-pound damage as our hospitals start to fill and a rapacious Delta variant spreads further. The Prime Minister must listen to the data, must consider all opinions and must put the national interest first, protecting life and safeguarding the wellbeing of the UK’s citizens.

The picture looking ahead is considerably rosier than it has been since March 2020. The vaccination appears to be breaking the chain between infection and hospitalisation, which is critical as we look to put Covid-19 behind us. We will not eradicate the virus, but we can maintain the upper hand in the same way that our lives are not unduly harmed by a number of other infectious diseases.

The key is achieving herd immunity, through vaccination, and we must continue to press hard to get two jabs into more people. Half of the nation is looking forward to its second dose, a quarter to its first. There is no time to waste.

The vaccination has been the key success story during this awful pandemic. Scientists and foot soldiers have worked tirelessly. The public must also step up and receive the vaccination when called. With the exception of the smallest cohort, who are not medically fit to receive the jab, there are no excuses. This is our way out; those who do not have the vaccine when able are working against the common good.

Should the Prime Minister decide to delay unlocking, it is likely to be for just a matter of weeks; with forecasters predicting between two and four most likely. We can and must play our part as we close in on the end game.

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