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Boris Johnson won’t say how many will be self-isolating after 19 July

Written by on 7 July 2021

Boris Johnson has repeatedly declined to say how many people are expected to have to self-isolate following the final relaxation of COVID restrictions in England on 19 July.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the prime minister of putting the country on course for a “summer of chaos and confusion” as he noted Health Secretary Sajid Javid’s admission that there could be 100,000 coronavirus cases a day within weeks.

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Sir Keir highlighted estimations that such an infection rate could see millions of Britons being forced to self-isolate this summer as COVID levels soar.

The prime minister is facing a backlash after he unveiled a plan to move to the fourth and final stage of his roadmap for lifting COVID restrictions on 19 July.

However, an exemption from 10-day self-isolation for double-jabbed adults, or under-18s, who have been a contact of an infected person will not be introduced until 16 August.

Businesses have warned of the economic harm of large numbers of workers having to quarantine over the next few weeks.

Quizzing Mr Johnson during Wednesday’s session of Prime Minister’s Questions, Sir Keir said: “Let’s be clear why infection rates are so high – because the prime minister let the Delta – or we can call it the ‘Johnson variant’ – into the country.

“Let’s be clear why the number of cases will surge so quickly – because he is taking all protections off in one go. That is reckless.”

The Labour leader added the “massive” number of people set to be self-isolating this summer would mean “huge disruption to families and businesses just as the summer holidays begin”.

Mr Johnson refused to say how many people he expects to be self-isolating this summer, but he challenged Sir Keir to set out whether or not he supported the lifting of almost all remaining COVID restrictions on 19 July.