London, Jul 18 (EFE).- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday urged all adults in the United Kingdom who have not been immunized against Covid-19 to do so at the same time he called for “caution” as the last legal restrictions to contain the pandemic are being lifted.
In a statement released by the British government, the premier noted that progress in England’s Phase 4 of lifting restrictions means that the majority of restrictions have ended, replaced by guidelines emphasizing personal judgment and responsibility.
The statement also said that people over age 18 can now request a vaccination appointment and that almost 60 percent of the under-25 public has received at least the first anti-Covid injection.
Young adults can be key transmitters of the virus and the communique urged them to get both doses of one of the vaccines, adding that Covid cases will continue to rise even though the immunization program has substantially weakened the link between infection and hospitalization and/or death.
The government noted that, according to figures from Public Health England, that one dose of the Pfizer or Astrazeneca vaccines provides 80 percent effectiveness against being hospitalized if a person becomes infected with the Delta variant and that the effectiveness rises to 96 percent after the second – and final – dose.
According to the latest official figures released on Sunday, the UK registered another 48,161 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours along with another 25 deaths from the disease.
Johnson is emphasizing the need to continue acting cautiously after the end of the restrictions and noted that the pandemic is not over, but rather the UK is entering a new phase in dealing with it after weighing the risks.
The number of cases in the UK and in Europe continues to rise and the threat of a new variant mutating from the existing coronavirus strains remains, he said.
In the communique, the prime minister outlined a five-point plan whereby the public can live with Covid-19 starting on Monday, a plan including strengthening the vaccines’ defenses by reducing the interval between the two doses from 12 to eight weeks for all adults and stipulating that most legal restrictions have been lifted and replaced with guidelines allowing citizens to make their own decisions, all the while emphasizing caution and individual responsibility.
In addition, Johnson confirmed that the National Health Service infection tracing system will continue to be utilized and that, by law, all positive virus cases will have to self-isolate until Aug. 16, after which adults and minors under age 18 will be exempt from the full scope of the guidelines.
Also, border controls will remain in place, including quarantines for travelers coming from a country on the “red” list and for those who have not undergone the full immunization regimen and are arriving from countries on the “yellow” list.”
The statement added that the figures will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and contingency plans will be made available to the public, although movement and gathering restrictions will be avoided where possible. The British government is planning to revise the current guidelines in September.
Johnson is remaining self-isolated at his Chequers country home after coming in contact with Health Minister Sajid Javid, who tested positive for Covid-19.