London, Jul 1 (PTI) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday said he hopes the country would be back to 'status quo' as the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted as planned on July 19.
He said he would set out in the next few days what step four of the lockdown lifting roadmap will look like. However, he warned that some 'extra precautions' may still be needed and called for patience around social gathering and travel rules.
'I know how impatient people are to get back to total normality, as indeed am I,' Johnson told reporters during a visit to a new Nissan plant in Sunderland, north-east England.
'But I think I've said it before, we'll be wanting to go back to a world that is as close to the status quo, ante-COVID, as possible. Try to get back to life as close to it was before COVID. But there may be some things we have to do, extra precautions that we have to take, but I'll be setting them out,' he said.
Asked about reports that fully-vaccinated people may be able to travel from amber-list countries without quarantining by July 26, Johnson said: 'Everybody who is frustrated about travel over the summer – double jabs will be a liberator.
'I want travel to be possible but I've got to stress that this year will not be like every other year, because of the difficulties with Covid. People shouldn't expect it will be completely hassle-free.' His comments come after the UK recorded 26,068 new cases on Wednesday, the highest daily figure since January 29. However, deaths remain low at 14 deaths.
Although the country has seen a 'big increase in cases', Johnson said this was 'not translating into a big increase in serious illness and deaths'.
He said it looked 'ever clearer' that the vaccination programme had 'broken the link between infection and mortality'.
'That gives us the scope, we think, on the 19th, to go ahead cautiously and irreversibly,' he added. PTI AK ZH ZH