Dozens of politicians from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s own Conservative party have called for an end to lockdown measures at the end of April, when the country’s nine top-priority groups are due to have had a first dose of coronavirus vaccine.
Lawmaker Steve Harvey posted a letter on Twitter Saturday which he said was signed by 63 Conservative lawmakers.
“Once all nine priority groups have been protected by the end of April, there is no justification for legislative restrictions to remain,” the letter says.
The letter argues that the “national priority” of reopening UK schools to students “must be achieved by March 8.”
Responding on Sky News Sunday, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he didn’t think “you could set an arbitrary target and not be evidence led.”
The UK has helmed one of the world’s fastest vaccination efforts, with Raab saying it “is on course to hit the first milestone” on Monday of giving a first dose to its four top priority groups. The UK has decided to focus on giving a first dose to as many people as possible, then give the second dose when supplies allow.
England and Scotland have been under lockdown since early January, with Wales and Northern Ireland under lockdown since late December.
The group, while commending the “tremendous pace of the vaccine rollout,” stressed that the government’s “roadmap must demonstrate how the vaccine rollout translates into a return to normal life.”
The group called for the reopening of pubs, restaurants, and other hospitality venues by Easter, “in a way which enables them to be Covid secure but also to operate in a commercially viable manner.”
The vaccine should not only provide “us with immunity from Covid but it must also give us permanent immunity from Covid-related lockdowns and restrictions,” they concluded.