The announcement that Queen Elizabeth II has tested positive for coronavirus comes at an awkward time for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is expected to announce this week the lifting of restrictions. pandemic remains in the UK, including the legal requirement for people to get tested. Positive to isolate.
Mr Johnson, who is facing a police investigation into whether he himself had broken the no-go law, is expected to soon end the restrictions that are due to expire on Jan. March 24.
It remains unclear whether news of the queen’s diagnosis will change the timing of Mr Johnson’s decision, which is believed to be part of a statement on how Britain intends to live with coronavirus.
But in a Twitter thread posted ahead of Buckingham Palace’s announcement on Sunday, Mr Johnson said that, thanks to the vaccination programme, the country “is now able to lay out our plan for living with Covid for the week”. this.”
“Covid will not suddenly go away, and we need to learn to live with this virus and continue to protect ourselves without restricting our freedoms,” Mr Johnson added.
Mr Johnson later tweeted his best wishes to the queen, saying, “I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone wishing the Queen a speedy recovery from Covid and a speedy return to good health.”
Downing Street has said that, under his new plan, people who test positive will still be asked to avoid contact with others and will be urged by the government to stay away from the workplace and avoid infecting others. the others. However, the legal requirement to do so would be eliminated.
The government is also expected to scale down its costly testing regime, limiting the use of coronavirus tests that are currently being distributed free of charge.
A strong faction in Mr Johnson’s Conservative Party opposes coronavirus restrictions and, given his political weakness, Mr Johnson may have struggled to convince his supporters to agree with any. any extension of the legal requirement to self-isolate, with fines for violators. rules.
However, some public health experts have criticized the idea of changing the quarantine rules, and the opposition Labor Party says their support for the measure cannot be guaranteed without seeing it. the science behind this proposal.
Over the past week, more than 300,000 people have tested positive for the virus in the UK and nearly 1,000 have died. according to government statistics.
On Sunday, Wes Streeting, who speaks for the Labor Party on health issues, told the BBC that lifting mandatory self-isolation at this stage “is not the right thing to do, so it’s not the right thing to do.” do”.
And the queen’s health concerns are likely to draw attention to the ongoing risks posed by the virus.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/20/world/europe/queen-covid-boris-johnson.html The Queen’s illness comes at an awkward time for Boris Johnson