Week Ahead: Decision on restriction lifting, the Great Yorkshire Show, Royal Shakespeare Company return and conjunction of Mars and Venus

The Prime Minister will decide on the lifting of restrictions, the Great Yorkshire Show returns, as does theatre and a space event. John Blow looks at the week ahead.

Boris Johnson. Picture: PA.
Boris Johnson. Picture: PA.

Decision day

The Prime Minister is tomorrow meant to make his final decision about whether to lift all coronavirus restrictions in a week’s time despite warnings from health experts that the move could leave a generation with “chronic health problems and disability” that impact them for decades.

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Boris Johnson will likely confirm whether the country will go ahead with Step 4 of the roadmap to end England’s coronavirus lockdown on July 19.

He told a Downing Street press conference on June 14 that he was “confident” that a delay of no more than four weeks would be needed.

It comes after more than 100 scientists and doctors last week signed a letter accusing the Government of conducting a “dangerous and unethical experiment” and urging it to reconsider its plans to abandon all restrictions.

Any strategy that “tolerates high levels of infection is both unethical and illogical”, according to the 122 signatories who included Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser and chair of Independent Sage, and Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the Council for the British Medical Association.

They warned that an exponential growth of the virus “will likely continue until millions more are infected, leaving hundreds of thousands with long-term illness and disability”.

The letter published in The Lancet continued: “This strategy risks creating a generation left with chronic health problems and disability, the personal and economic impacts of which might be felt for decades to come.”

Meanwhile, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon branded Mr Johnson’s approach to dropping coronavirus regulations as “something of an exception”.

In another sign of pressure on the PM, Mr Johnson was also warned that it was “entirely predictable” that people will delete the NHS Covid-19 app to avoid being told to self-isolate as cases rise.

At Prime Minister’s Questions last week Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer challenged Mr Johnson about the expected rise in cases that will occur as restrictions are eased.

Show must go on

The Great Yorkshire Show returns after two years to highlight the best and brightest of the region’s farming industry.

Ticketholders can enjoy the showcase between Tuesday and Friday – a day more than usual – in Harrogate.

A “truly exciting show” has been promised as Atkinson Action Horses are set to put on brilliant displays in the Main Ring, while national livestock and sheep competitions also go ahead.

Safety measures have been put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic and this year tickets will not be available on the gates.

The show was cancelled in full last year for the first time since the foot-and-mouth outbreak in 2001.

Capacity has this year been limited to 26,000 people each day – 104,000 people in total - and Wednesday’s showcase has already sold out.

Avon it large

The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon in planning to restart live theatre performances with The Comedy of Errors play on Tuesday.

This is due to take place in its new temporary outdoor auditorium – the Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Garden Theatre – on the banks of the River Avon.

The show runs from Tuesday to Sunday, September 26.

Space spectacular

Stargazers will be keeping their eyes focused for the conjunction of Mars and Venus on Tuesday.

The two planets will appear together in the sky but angular separation between them will be so small that they will appear as a single object.