BORIS Johnson has insisted the return to normal life is “not far off” as a “brightly illuminated pub sign” awaits in the distance.
The Prime Minister gave his glimmer of hope today as he hailed the UK’s vaccine efforts and praised the nation’s new Brexit deal.
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Boris Johnson has said a return to normal life is in the distance with an illuminated pub sign paving the way[/caption]
The Prime Minister gives a thumbs up gesture after signing the Brexit trade deal with the EU in number 10 Downing Street on December 30[/caption]
Almost everyone in England – bar 2,000 people in the Isle of Scilly – entered the New Year under Tier 3 or Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions, after the latest measures were introduced on Boxing Day.
And Mr Johnson today acknowledged the UK is “not there yet” but insisted normal life will come.
Writing in the Telegraph on the first day of the New Year, he said: “In the distance and through the darkness we can see the brightly illuminated pub sign of our destination – the normal convivial life that we have been forced to leave behind and that is so vital for our economy.
“We are not there yet, but we are not far off; and most importantly, we can see with ever-growing clarity how we are going to get there.”
The PM noted the “bitter economic consequences of being forced to fight Covid with lockdowns” but vowed to continue government measures to help protect businesses, jobs and livelihoods.
He insisted that with “a great Brexit deal, and with a cheap and effective UK-made vaccine, we are creating the potential trampoline for the national bounceback”.
And said that “with every jab that goes into the arms of the elderly and vulnerable, we are changing the odds: against Covid, and in favour of the human race.”
We will, however, “require courage, patience and discipline”.
It comes after regulators approved the “game-changing” Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this week, with the roll out set to begin on Monday and the makers promising to deliver two million doses a week.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock hailed the vaccine as a “great British success story” which will help the country out of the pandemic “by spring”.
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He told MPs the new jab would mean the day on which restrictions are lifted can be brought forward – before announcing millions more Brits would be plunged into tougher Tier 4 restrictions.
Tier 4 measures were introduced across London and the southeast just days before Christmas, and expanded to Oxfordshire, Suffolk, and Norfolk on Boxing Day.
The rest of England was plunged into tougher restrictions too, with everyone but The Isle of Scilly seeing the toughest measures.
Moved into Tier 4:
- Leicester City
- Leicestershire (Oadby and Wigston, Harborough, Hinckley and Bosworth, Blaby, Charnwood, North West Leicestershire, Melton)
- Lincolnshire (City of Lincoln, Boston, South Kesteven, West Lindsey, North Kesteven, South Holland, East Lindsey)
- Northamptonshire (Corby, Daventry, East Northamptonshire, Kettering, Northampton, South Northamptonshire, Wellingborough)
- Derby and Derbyshire (Derby, Amber Valley, South Derbyshire, Bolsover, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield, Erewash, Derbyshire Dales, High Peak)
- Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (Gedling, Ashfield, Mansfield, Rushcliffe, Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire, Broxtowe)
- Birmingham and Black Country (Dudley, Birmingham, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton)
- Warwickshire (Rugby, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Warwick, North Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon)
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (East Staffordshire, Stafford, South Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Staffordshire Moorlands, Newcastle under Lyme, Tamworth, Stoke-on-Trent)
- Lancashire (Burnley, Pendle, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley, Blackpool, Preston, Hyndburn, Chorley, Fylde, Lancaster, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Wyre)
- Cheshire and Warrington (Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Warrington)
- Cumbria (Eden, Carlisle, South Lakeland, Barrow-in-Furness, Copeland, Allerdale)
- Greater Manchester (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan)
- Tees Valley (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees )
- North East (County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside, Sunderland)
- Gloucestershire (Gloucester, Forest of Dean, Cotswolds, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Cheltenham)
- Somerset Council (Mendip, Sedgemoor, Somerset West and Taunton, South Somerset)
- Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
- Isle of Wight
- New Forest
Moved to Tier 3:
- Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
- Worcestershire (Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills, Redditch, Worcester, Wychavon, Wyre Forest)
- Liverpool City Region (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, St Helens)
- York & North Yorkshire (Scarborough, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Selby, Craven, Ryedale, Harrogate, City of York)
- Bath and North East Somerset
- Devon, Plymouth, Torbay (East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, West Devon, Plymouth, Torbay)