tv Ros Atkins On... Englands... BBC News July 10, 2021 6:45pm-7:01pm BST
rate is still going up, is reckless. but the government has an answer to this, and it lies in this graph. it shows rates of hospitalisation during the second wave — before the vaccine — and right now, with many people vaccinated. as you can see, hospitalisation rates are far lower, as the government points out. our vaccines are building a wall of protection against hospitalisation, and jab byjab, brick by brick, that wall is getting higher. ok, but if the vaccine is radically reducing hospitalisations, and if 60% of adults are fully vaccinated, the next question is, why not finish the job first? we're about three quarters of the way through our vaccination programme. i would like to finish it before we go all the way to opening. on this point, boris johnson has this message. to those who say we should delay again, the alternative to that is to open up in winter, when the virus
will have an advantage, or not at all this year. mrjohnson believes the summer weather and the school holidays can act as a firebreak on the virus, and he has support from some leading scientists. i do think the government are right. i think it's time, you know, we're in the summer, i think it's time to start releasing and trying to get back to some sort of normality. as well as this, england's chief medical officer chris witty argues a delay may not help. at a certain point you move to the situation where instead of actually averting hospitalisations and deaths, you move over to just delaying them. those are some of the arguments around what may happen to hospitalisations.
but there are other concerns about this plan. here are two more from professor christina pagel again. infections still matter. they matter because about 10—20% of people end up with long covid, which can be quite debilitating. they matter because every infection is a new chance for a new variant to arise, and they matter because we still don't really know what the long—term impacts of this disease are. let's take those points in turn. on long covid, one survey suggested that around 2 million people in the uk have had some long—lasting symptoms, and chris witty doesn't deny this is a concern. to a question on this he replied: there is an acceptance more people will get long covid, though no figures are put on this by the government. the next point from christina pagel was the risk of new variants evolving.
now, we've no specific government response on this, but here's professor anthony hagen again. these vaccines are very, very effective, and it's likely that immunity will last for a long time. it's likely that even as new variants arise, there will be some degree of protection. the government calculation is that vaccines can cope with whatever comes. there is, though, a further, broader question — whether the government is risking people's health for the sake of the economy. the health secretary, sajid javid, answered that in the mail on sunday. the headline reads: now, that covid has disrupted other healthcare is accepted. whether the government's decision this week addresses that problem hinges on what happens to those hospitalisation rates. here's professor neil ferguson again.
that indeed is the question, or at least one of them. because another we need to address is whether this is actually about politics as much as it's about science. certainly to some degree, this is about the conservative desire to assert individual responsibility and freedoms. here's the cabinet minister robertjenrick. we do now have to move into a different period, where we learn to live with the virus, we take precautions, and we as individuals take personal responsibility. borisjohnson has also described this shift. what we're doing, mr speaker, is cautiously, prudently, moving from legal diktat, from legal diktat to allowing people to take personal responsibility for their actions. to some observers of borisjohnson, this is familiar territory.
the veteran politicaljournalist steve richards tweeted: well, borisjohnson himself has been open about his reluctance to introduce nationwide restrictions. he has also often talked of the importance of "british common sense" in navigating the pandemic. so it's not a surprise to see this move to remove restrictions, and to ask the public to use itsjudgement. there are, though, concerns about the limits of common sense. this is one of those areas where my freedom affects your freedom. it's just like driving. my freedom to drive fast affects your safety. my freedom not to wear a mask affects your safety in terms of not getting covid. in areas like that, we recognise that we do need some level of regulation. so there's an argument that rules encourage us to act responsibly.
there's another issue, too. with reference to masks, for example, the government hasn't actually defined what being responsible is. it's left it up to the individual. all of this feeds into a concern that there will be a lack of masks which will disproportionately impact certain groups of people. the political scientist paula surridge picks up on this, saying: and as well as certain professions, people who are particularly vulnerable are worried, too. for shielders like myself and for many other disabled people across the country, we will remain in place, we'll remain shielding, we'll remain isolated, just so we can protect ourselves. the government doesn't dismiss these concerns, but its message is that society as a whole has to begin to learn to live with covid — while being cautious.
i don't want people to feel that this is, as it were, the moment to get demob happy, that this is the end of covid. it is very far from the end of dealing with this virus. and if part of the reason this is happening is about political philosophy, well, part of it is about straight politics too. tom newton—dunn of times radio reported ahead of the announcement that ministers concede they no longer have enough tory mps�* support to keep restrictions any longer. and here's one mp responding to the decision on masks. i think it is an infringement of civil liberties. i think it is right to return to people a degree of autonomy about the way they live their life. and you might be watching england and thinking, how does this compare with other nations? well, most comparisons are difficult. here's my colleague nick triggle on the bbc news website, writing:
and it is a dilemma that israel recently faced. despite 60% of adults being fully vaccinated, face masks indoors have been mandated again because cases are rising. it's a similar story in california. la county is again recommending masks indoors, again because of rising cases. the uk government, though, keeps coming back to its vaccine rollout. that's the foundation of its decision. but the who is clear — the stakes remain high. we would ask governments to be really careful at this moment, not to lose the gains you have made, to open up very carefully. the uk government knows this is a decision with risks attached. it knows when the infection rate rises, when there are buses, trains, pubs, offices, theatres and shops full of people not wearing masks, this will be "living with covid." and only then will the health service, the economy, and the virus show us
if it was the right decision. hello there. there are some major and long—awaited changes to the weather pattern over the week ahead. for so long now, our weather has been dominated by low pressure, which has meant we've seen rain. low pressure has been there because the jet stream is to the south of the uk. if we run things on a bit, we're going to find out in the other side of the atlantic much more undulation in thejet stream pattern. that will then propagate the jet stream and drive it to the north of the uk, which allows high pressure to build up from the south—west, from the azores and settling things down. not just yet, though. sunday, we've got some more rain in the forecast. fairly cloudy start, it'll brighten up, we'll get some sunshine. that will then induce a few more heavy showers
across northern england, scotland and northern ireland, and at the same time, we've also got some thickening cloud and rain coming into wales and the south west, so temperatures here will be a bit lower than they were on saturday. but ahead of that, with hopefully more sunshine for the midlands, east anglia and the south east, temperatures here should be a little bit higher. still got some heavy showers as we head into the evening across scotland in particular, and this rain just marches its way eastwards towards wembley later on in the evening. indeed, there's more rain to come as we head into the start of next week because low pressure is still in charge. that's sitting right over the uk. so, we're looking at more rain more widely, i think, on monday. that rain could be heavy, it could be thundery and it could lead to some localised flooding. downpours developing more widely in scotland and northern england. we've got some rain further south. it looks at this stage like northern ireland may see some of the driest weather, and temperatures will be up around 20—21 celsius. now, that low pressure bringing the downpours slowly, slowly pushes away towards continental europe. and it starts to dry
out a little bit more, especially across the western side of the uk on tuesday. this is where all the heavy downpours are. mostly the other side of the channel, not far away from the extreme south east of england. there'll be a few showers around on tuesday, but they'll be fewer and lighter, so temperatures will start to creep upjust a little bit. and that drying out process continues as we head into wednesday. we've got that low pressure stuck really across central europe. but a nose of high coming in across the uk, so more in the way of sunshine, dry weather as well. still not that warm towards east anglia, the south east because it's a northerly breeze and a weak weather front will be bringing cloud into the north west of the uk, maybe even a few spots of rain around as well. for many, it's a dry day with some sunshine. that weak weather front is running around the top of the area of high pressure. not much rain in it, really, but what it does do as we head into thursday, it tracks down into the high pressure and brings cloud down into england and wales, maybe one or two spots of rain, but essentially it's dry.
but it looks like a cloudier day in england and wales on thursday, more sunshine following to scotland and northern ireland and temperatures still into the low 20s, so near normalfor this time of the year. now, some computer models bring the high pressure in and then pull it away fairly quickly. we're expecting the high pressure to hang around a little bit longer, mind you, and with that high pressure around, it means we've got some much—needed dry weather. and it looks like it's going to be dry into next weekend with some sunshine. temperatures, well, i've put warm on there rather than hot because the breeze is still coming around from the north. in fact, if you're looking for hot weather, you need to go into the mediterranean or across the eastern side of europe.
this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley. the headlines at 7pm — england's footballers have arrived at their hotel near london ahead of tomorrow's match against italy in the final of euro 2020. we'll be going live to gareth southgate's press conference shortly, and we'll also hearfrom one of raheem sterling's former coaches. the build—up reaches fever pitch — with millions of fans around the country preparing to watch the game tomorrow night at 8pm. italy are unbeaten in 33 games. they've now arrived in the uk, hoping to win their second euros trophy. in other news, fully vaccinated nhs staff could be let off having to self—isolate after contact with someone with covid to try to tackle staff shortages. applause.