MINISTERS have reportedly been told to brace for two millions Covid cases in the weeks after Freedom Day.
Restrictions are set to lift entirely from next Monday – with thousands more infections expected as Delta still runs rampant.Covid cases are expected to skyrocket after restrictions end next week[/caption]
It is thought ministers are prepping for at least one to two million new cases, sparked by the unlocking, the Guardian reports.
Public alarm has been growing in the face of rising case numbers fuelled by the super-infectious Delta variant.
Labour has called the “big bang” reopening “reckless” and urged the PM to instead take baby steps back to normality.
But the PM is being pulled the other way by lockdown-hating Tory MPs who today demanded he “hold firm”.
Ministers have confirmed that Brits will be strongly encouraged to follow fresh guidance brought in to replace the legal measures.
The fourth and final step of his roadmap ditches legal measures on masks, social distancing, limits on gatherings and the work from home guidance.
Teeing up the PM’s unlocking announcement, Health Minister Ed Argar told Sky News: “If not now, when? We’re in a position where the vaccination programme is our defensive wall against the virus and it’s proving hugely effective.”
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It means the end to the rule of six and social distancing and the reopening of nightclubs from July 19.
Masks will no longer be compulsory after a jabs roll-out, which the PM will say has saved 30,000 lives and stopped 8.5million infections.
Mr Johnson will tell a No10 press conference that freedom is “tantalisingly close”.
But he will warn: “Cases will rise as we unlock, so as we confirm our plans today, our message will be clear.
“Caution is absolutely vital, and we must all take responsibility so we don’t undo our progress.”
But many experts have questioned if it is the right time to fully unlock, with youngsters still largely unprotected with just one dose of vaccine.
They warned Britain is heading for another lockdown if all restrictions are lifted this month.
Furious doctors lamented the NHS is “already broken” – as they fear more hospitalisations to come as cases rise with the spread of the Delta variant.
Cases are still rising in the UK and while vaccines do help protect against serious illness and death, people are still ending up in hospital with the virus.
Experts fear the NHS will struggle to cope if cases hit the predicted 100-120,000-a-day in just a few weeks.
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Even if vaccines stop the majority of people getting sick enough to need medical care, just one per cent of 100,000 would see 1,000 daily admissions to wards.
And with thousands suffering with long Covid there is huge concern many more people will develop the condition as cases increase among the young.
It is thought around ten per cent of people with the virus go on to have long Covid. So it could be that 10,000 people a day are developing the debilitating condition if 100,000 cases per day are reached, they warned.