DOWNING Street must not under-estimate the horror of keeping Britain locked down until May.
The cost — in further suicides, family breakups, bankrupted businesses, lost jobs and public debt — will be immense.
The government must appreciate the cost of continuing lockdown furtherCredit: AFP or licensors
The Government says we could lift most restrictions in May if we have inoculated all over-50s and the vulnerable, as planned. Pubs would reopen too . . . and, joyously, without daft curfews or bonkers Scotch Egg rules.
But we are only in early February.
Even if kids return to school on March 8 (which looks over-cautious for primaries), the prospect of living under virtual house arrest for three months from now is beyond grim.
Ministers often glibly say they know how hard it is. Can they truly imagine life for those on low incomes looking after kids in cramped flats with no outside space?
It is an ordeal far beyond the inconvenience felt by middle class families in comfortable homes with gardens.
The Sun is not prematurely calling for an end to lockdown. The daily deaths, hospitalisations and new cases are still worryingly high, even if they are declining. And this MUST be the last lockdown we ever endure, so it has to work.
Boris Johnson must focus on fully reopening our economy at the earliest possible momentCredit: Alamy Live News
But we implore the Government not to be complacent about the ability of the public, famously stoic though we are, to sail through 12 more weeks of this torture.
With many millions vaccinated, deaths and hospitalisations should have plummeted long before May. So when on February 22 Boris Johnson announces his roadmap to ending lockdown, he needs a laser-like focus on our freedoms and fully reopening our economy at the earliest possible moment.
The PM has had to become a far more cautious man in the last year.
He must not let it consume him.
WE never thought the EU’s own chief would make The Sun’s case for Brexit. Respect to Ursula von der Leyen for doing just that.
Ursula von der Leyen has said Britain is more agile as an independent nationCredit: AFP or licensors
We so are, Ursula! Welcome aboard.
It’s possibly a risky message for the EU to send to eurosceptics across the Continent, but she’s right. We ARE more agile as an independent nation.
And the EU will always be a lumbering bureaucracy. That’s how it’s built.
That is of course the key difference between our vaccine rollout, with an amazing 484,596 more jabs yesterday, and the EU’s. That and the fact, as von der Leyen also admits, that they simply “underestimated the difficulties”.
Those errors have proved lethal. When you need to protect millions from a highly infectious virus, speed and numbers are all that counts.
The jabs, plus 65 new trade deals now signed, are our Brexit dividends so far.
The Government must now ensure new, nimble Britain bounces back economically faster than our competitors too.
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