It’s quite a feat to be dubbed a grinch in July, but that’s the prospect facing Boris Johnson after the UK prime minister declined to assure the British public that they will be able to visit their families at Christmas.
During a press conference on Friday, Johnson discussed plans for a “significant return to normality” in England following the coronavirus
pandemic, explaining that it’s hoped that the process will be largely complete by the end of the year.
“It is my strong and sincere hope that we will be able to review the outstanding restrictions and allow a more significant return to normality from November, at the earliest, possibly in time for Christmas,” the British leader explained.
But when pressed as to whether people would be able to be with their families this Christmas, the UK prime minister stressed that the plan was conditional on success in suppressing infection rates and opted not to give any firm commitments. He instead said that the government’s plan is to “hope for the best, but plan for the worst.”
Johnson used the press conference to announce that people may now use public transport, and he revealed plans for a further reopening of the economy, which will get underway in August.
The UK was the European country worst hit by Covid
-19, racking up nearly 300,000 confirmed cases and 45,000 deaths from the disease. However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has ordered an “urgent review” into how death figures from England are calculated after scientists found they may have been inflated.