At least they had the nouse to U-turn
For months it seems we have been hearing from ministers about July 19th which has been dubbed Freedom Day to mark the end of the COVID restrictions. This was going to be a big moment for Johnsson and his team and a time to celebrate yet again the success of their vaccination programme.
Then HealthSec Javid contracted COVID prompting the multi-billion pound NHS test and trace service to pin the two men who clearly had had a lot of contact with Javid – Johnson and Sunak.
Under the rules they should have been self-isolating but then we were told they were part of a test of a new approach which meant they could avoid the self-isolation bit. This stank and there was a furious reaction on social media and at least this caused the two to think again. Not following the laid down rule would leave them open to the very damaging accusation that there was one law for the mass of us and a different regime for the elite. Given the huge sacrifices that millions have made only exacerbated the risk that having them exempt was the smart thing to do.
All this comes down to Johnson’s obsession with always trying to sugar the pill of what they were doing by a promise of better things.
Judging by his Tweets it appeared that Sunak was the driver of the U-turn.
The fact that they started going ahead with the evade self-isolation plan should set off warning bells in the party. This was a huge political mistake and casts doubt on their judgement
UPDATE: These are the markeThis market relates to whether the UK government re-introduces any legally enforceable restrictions on social contact in England related to the spread of coronavirus, following the legal end of restrictions on social contact (currently expected to take place on 19 July 2021). Examples may include, but are not limited to, the mandatory wearing of face masks on public transport or the closure of pubs/nightclubs. For the purposes of this market, restrictions will not include any regulations on international travel or any regulations related to self-isolation or quarantine. For the purposes of this market, ‘re-introduce’ does not require any restrictions to exactly replicate previous restrictions. If the UK government does not end restrictions on social contact in 2021, and thus could not ‘re-introduce’ restrictions, this market will be void. Dates in this market relate to when any restrictions come into force in England, rather than the date on which they are announced. All times and dates in this market are in UK time. Clarification (14 July 2021): This market refers to mandatory England-wide measures introduced by the UK government. Any measures that are introduced locally or by individual companies (e.g. Transport for London only) will not count towards the settlement of this market. Clarification (6 September 2021): If ‘vaccination passports’ are required for entry to nightclubs or other events, this market will be settled for yes, so long as the measure satisfies the other conditions in the market rules, i.e. that it is mandatory, implemented by the UK government, England-wide and legally enforceable. Clarification (12 October 2021): If vaccines become mandatory for people working in care homes at any point in 2021 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vaccination-of-people-working-or-deployed-in-care-homes-operational-guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-of-people-working-or-deployed-in-care-homes-operational-guidance) this market will be settled for yes, so long as the measure satisfies the other conditions in the market rules, i.e. that it is mandatory, implemented by the UK government, England-wide and legally enforceable.