England is now “travelling on a one-way road to freedom”, Boris Johnson has told the latest Downing Street coronavirus briefing.
The Prime Minister said the government’s four-step roadmap for England laid out on Monday (22 February) – beginning on 8 March with the reopening of all schools and potentially ending on 21 June with all social restrictions dropped – would see spring and summer become “seasons of hope”.
“This roadmap allows us to strike a balance to go forward cautiously but not to go back,” he said, adding he believed the public would “rather trade some haste [in opening up sooner] for certainty and security on the deadlines that we are setting”.
Johnson offered scant extra detail on how or when international travel would resume other than the details laid out during his roadmap speech to MPs this afternoon.
Speaking in Parliament earlier on Monday, Johnson said a “newly reconstructed” Global Travel Taskforce would produce a report aimed at facilitating the return of overseas travel by 12 April – with any restart coming no earlier than 17 May.
Asked if vaccine certificates would be used as a means to implement the opening up of society, Johnson said the policy was “something that’s likely in the conversation about international travel” with a number of countries having already discussed plans to require proof of Covid vaccination.
Although he said the use of vaccine certificates domestically presented “complex issues” and a government review would be launched on the subject.
“There may well be a role for certification – we just need to get it right," he said.