Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Javid said: “The economic arguments for opening up are well known, but for me, the health arguments are equally compelling.

“Rules that we have had to put in place have caused a shocking rise in domestic violence and a terrible impact on so many people’s mental health,” he added.

It comes as a survey has shown more than half of parents would be willing to vaccinate their children, if they were offered.

A YouGov poll of 938 parents found that 53 per cent would get their child vaccinated, rising to 59 per cent among parents who have had, or are planning to get, the jab themselves.

Live updates


Concerns over ‘global situation’ of the virus, says Prof Finn

Professor Adam Finn, from the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said he is most worried about the global situation in terms of the virus, as that is also what will most likely cause problems in the UK.

He told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme: “There are obviously countries where they’re in fourth and fifth waves now, and I’m worried about that not just out of a sense of fairness for the people around the world, but actually also for us in the UK.

“We’ve had this experience in the last two months of importation of a much more infectious virus from India.”

Prof Finn said that will happen again if the pandemic goes forward “unchecked around the world”, causing a worse problem.

“And I think that’s the most likely scenario to cause a fourth or fifth wave in this country that would be out of control,” he said.


Professor Adam Finn: says he will continue to wear a face mask ‘indefinitely’

Professor Adam Finn, from the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said he will continue to wear a face mask “indefinitely” despite plans to end enforced mask wearing.

He told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme: “Well on a personal level I shall certainly be continuing to wear a mask if I’ve got any symptoms or if I’m in an enclosed space with lots of other people for a prolonged period of time, indefinitely in fact.”

Prof Finn explained: “I think we learned, as paediatricians, we learned that we can avoid massive problems with children getting sick in the winter by doing these kind of measures.

“We simply didn’t see the epidemics of respiratory viruses last winter that we’ve seen every year throughout my career.

“So I actually now completely understand it, whereas I was puzzled before when I saw Asian people in the Tube wearing masks in the pre-pandemic era.

“So I think mask-wearing is obviously something we’ve learned is extremely valuable to do under certain circumstances. That doesn’t mean I’ll wear a mask all the time but it does mean I will some of the time.”


Dr Tildesley is ‘cautiously optimistic’ that the changes on July 19 will be irreversible

Dr Mike Tildesley said he is “cautiously optimistic” that the changes on July 19 will be irreversible.

He told BBC Breakfast: “The data is certainly looking pretty healthy right now but there’s always a little bit of uncertainty.

“The epidemiologist in me will always kind of think well whilst we’re in the summer we know that transmission is always a little bit low in the summer, people tend to socialise in outdoor settings a little bit more which also helps.

“As we move into the winter there is always a greater risk and there’s always the potential for new variants to come along that evade the vaccine.

“So I think we do need to start thinking about that now, preparing for the winter and hopefully with a good booster vaccination campaign – not just for Covid actually, but also to really try to increase our vaccination uptake for flu as we go into the winter – hopefully we’ll be well prepared moving forward and we won’t need any sort of restrictions to be put in place as we move into the autumn and winter.”


Face coverings could be left up to personal choice, says Jenrick

Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick suggested that coronavirus control measures such as the legal requirement to wear face coverings in enclosed public settings would be left up to personal choice after the final stage of the road map.

The Conservative politician told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme: “Like many people, I want to get away from these restrictions as quickly as I possibly can and we don’t want them to stay in place for a day longer than is necessary.

“I think we are going to now move into a period where there won’t be legal restrictions, the state won’t be telling you what to do, but you will want to exercise a degree of personal responsibility and judgment – different people will come to different conclusions on things like masks, for example.

“The Prime Minister will set out more detail on the national policy on some of those restrictions in the coming days.

“But there will be things we all definitely need to do – it will be essential that every adult gets fully vaccinated.”

Pressed on whether he would “get rid” of his mask after July 19 if permitted to do so, Mr Jenrick said: “I will. I don’t particularly want to wear a mask. I don’t think a lot of people enjoy doing it.”


Robert Jenrick: ‘I think we are now reaching a different phase in the virus’

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the impact of the vaccine meant that the Government could “move to a much more permissive regime”, with England moving “away from any of those restrictions” from July 19.

The Cabinet minister told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme: “I think we are now reaching a different phase in the virus. We are not going to put the Covid-19 virus behind us forever, we’re going to have to learn to live with it.

“But thanks to the enormous success of our vaccine programme, the fact that we’ve got to the point where 83 per cent of adults in this country have had at least one jab, we should be able to think about how we can return to normality as much as possible.

Robert Jenrick

/ PA Archive

“The data that we are seeing, and that the Prime Minister is reviewing at the moment ahead of his decision point on the road map, looks very positive.

“It does seem as if we can now move forward and move to a much more permissive regime where we move away from any of those restrictions that have been so difficult for us, and learn to live with the virus.”

Mr Jenrick said every adult getting “double vaxxed” was the “key to keeping the virus under control” into the autumn and winter.


Dr Tildesley: ‘I hope when we move into the autumn we can start to have a little bit more of what I call the flu relationship with Covid’

Dr Mike Tildesley said he hopes that as we move into the autumn we can have more of a “flu relationship with Covid”.

He was asked about the importance of personal responsibility and the lack of social distancing among football fans, and he told BBC Breakfast: “I think it’s understandable that people are obviously very excited yesterday but of course there has to be some level of responsibility going forward.

“I hope when we move into the autumn we can start to have a little bit more of what I call the flu relationship with Covid.”

He said the wave of Covid over the last 12 months was “far greater than influenza epidemics we’ve had in previous years”, adding: “But hopefully with a successful vaccination campaign we can get more into that kind of mindset and look to sort of mitigate the worst risks of Covid by vaccination, by hand washing practices and advisory strategies and of course supporting people to be at home when they are sick.

“These kind of simple measures that we can put in place, to hopefully give people personal responsibility, but also go back to living our lives as normally as possible, because I think that’s very important after a really, really tough last 18 months.”


July 19 is ‘probably the right time’ to consider ending the wearing of face masks, says Dr Tildesley

Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, which provides modelling evidence to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said July 19 is “probably the right time” to consider ending the wearing of face masks.

He told BBC Breakfast: “It’s an interesting one. If we are going to do that I think probably this is the right time to consider that.

“We know that of course masks have helped throughout the pandemic in terms of reducing the risk a little bit, but they’re part of a number of measures that do help to reduce the risk.”

/ PA Wire

He said he has been worried about some commentators suggesting masks might be around for a long time, as he pointed out they can be difficult for people who are hard of hearing and those who struggle with their mental health.

“I think probably if we are going to remove them, 19th of July when we are seeing really low numbers of hospital admissions and low number of deaths, is probably the right time to consider it,” he said.


Portugal to ramp up vaccination after surge in Delta variant

Portugal said it hoped to vaccinate a further 1.7 million people against Covid-19 over the next two weeks, as authorities scramble to contain a surge in infections caused by the more contagious Delta variant.

Cases in Portugal, a nation of just over 10 million, jumped by 2,605 on Saturday, the biggest increase since February 13, taking the total cases since the pandemic began to 887,047.

AFP via Getty Images

New cases are being reported mostly among unvaccinated younger people so daily coronavirus deaths, currently in single digits, remain well below levels in February when the country was still under lockdown after January’s second wave.

Portugal has fully vaccinated around 35 per cent of its population, and those aged 18 to 29 can start booking vaccination appointments on Sunday.


Half of parents would get their children vaccinated from coronavirus

More than half of parents with children are willing to have them vaccinated against Covid-19 if jabs are offered to under-18s, a survey shows.

A YouGov poll of 938 parents with children aged 17 or under found that 53 per cent would get their child vaccinated, rising to 59% of parents who have already had, or were planning to get, the jab themselves.

However, one in five (18 per cent ) of all parents said that they would not vaccinate their children, while another 29 per cent were unsure.

Even among those having the vaccine themselves, 29 per cent of parents were uncertain about jabbing their offspring, while 12 per cent said they would not do it.

Among those parents refusing the vaccine for themselves or who were undecided, 2% would get their children vaccinated, 24 per cent were unsure and 74 per cent would not.

The poll also found that people in professional jobs were more likely to want to vaccinate their children (58 per cent compared to 45 per cent for more manual workers), and men were more likely to say yes compared to women.


Many people may continue to wear face masks even if they are no longer mandatory

Many people may continue to wear face masks even if they are no longer mandatory, a GP said.

Dr Ellie Cannon told BBC Breakfast: “It’s a very easy win for us to be wearing face masks, not all the time and not necessarily in the classroom.

“But I think particularly popping on a face mask if you are going into hospital to visit a relative, coming to my GP surgery, getting on a bus, I think that’s an easy win.

“And I actually think there will be many people who will continue to wear face masks, myself included, even after July 19 if the mandate is lifted.

“I’ve heard a lot of people say to me, who travel on the bus or the London Underground particularly in the winter, that they would absolutely put on a face mask, particularly in the winter because we all get used to having these coughs and colds and flu and if you can do something very simple to prevent that, why wouldn’t you?”

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