Covid threat in months ahead - The Yorkshire Post Says

Boris Johnson faces many questions, and a degree of public apprehension, when he announces his plan for tackling coronavirus during the coming winter.

Boris Johnson. PIC: Getty

The country knows to its cost - in both human and economic terms - that the winter months can exact a terrible toll, and the Prime Minister will seek to reassure the public that a repeat of last year’s deaths and lockdowns can be avoided.

Certainly, the success of the vaccination programme gives cause for optimism that this year will be less harrowing, yet there is still a high degree of uncertainty, not least because the Government is displaying signs of indecision.

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Yesterday’s announcement by Health Secretary Sajid Javid that a Covid passport scheme for nightclubs and other large gatherings is to be abandoned represents a U-turn after Ministers insisted it was the right thing to do.

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And there is still no decision on whether younger children will be vaccinated.

There are also worrying signs that the virus is far from beaten, given rising rates of infection. Rotherham Hospital’s declaration of its highest state of emergency is further confirmation of Covid’s continuing capacity to put the NHS under severe pressure, and the country has yet to see if the return of pupils and teachers to school will result in a spike in new cases.

Mr Johnson would be well advised to acknowledge the public’s concerns that there may be a high price to be paid for the easing of restrictions.

He must convince the country that he is on top of the risks.