Just asked Jonathan Van-Tam which restrictions he wd reimpose if the NHS looks like it can't cope this summer.
He said Sage would have to assess but pointed out "close contact indoors" would be the big factor.
Sounded like a new mini-lockdown wd be needed (ie masks/WFH marginal)
Also asked Sir Patrick Vallance if he should level with the public this unlocking is a huge experiment.
He sd govt had made clear the risks.
"It's very likely we'll get to above 1000 hospitalisations a day, it could be quite a lot higher than that."
When I asked @BorisJohnson if @JeremyFarrar was right that his decision to delay a public inquiry to 2022 was just "political manoeuvring", the PM said it wd be wrong to ask senior officials to focus "energy and mental space" on it while dealing with the current third wave.
"I would really answer the point made by Jeremy Farrar, a brilliant public scientist, with the observation just now of another brilliant public scientist, Jonathan Van-Tam. Which is the NHS is working absolutely flat out. I just don't think this is the right time."
“I do think that next spring, as far as I can tell, almost certainly will be the right time and we will go ahead and get a full proper public inquiry. But I want to stress to you Paul, and to all our viewers that we continue to learn lessons, the whole time.”

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More from @paulwaugh

22 Jul
On plans to exempt 'critical workers' from isolation, @KwasiKwarteng tells @BBCr4today: "I don't think it's a question of applying...we will be publishing today the sectors that will be affected."

2 days ago, No.10 said firms *would* have to apply + there'd be no list of sectors
PM's official spokesman on Tuesday: "We’re not going to be producing a list covering individual sectors, these business-critical areas will be able to apply for exemptions to their host departments."

So, another U-turn today. Dizzying rate of these this week.
I explicitly asked the spokesman why the govt was not repeating its practice last year of precisely defining list of critical workers exempted from overseas travel bans in the 1st lockdown.
He said cos this was a smaller list of ppl it would be done on a "case by case" basis
Read 5 tweets
21 Jul
U-turn on a U-turn.
Govt press release confirms 3% pay rise for NHS staff.
.@sajidjavid “We asked the independent pay review bodies for their recommendations and I’m pleased to accept them in full, with a 3% pay rise for all staff in scope, from doctors and nurses to paramedics and porters...
"NHS staff are rightly receiving a pay rise this year despite the wider public sector pay pause, in recognition of their extraordinary efforts.."
Read 6 tweets
21 Jul
Interesting mask wearing by party allegiance in #PMQs.
I'd say only a quarter of Tory MPs are wearing face coverings.
Every Labour MP, @theSNP
and @LibDems MP wearing masks.
DUP MPs also not wearing masks.
Update, more Tory MPs have now out them on.
Current count: 14 with masks (tho just two on front bench), 17 without (including the Leader of the Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg)
Read 4 tweets
13 Jul
BREAKING Govt wins overseas aid cut vote by 333 votes to 298. Big Tory rebellion
Criticism has been swift from aid charities. Church of England's Bishop of Worcester now wades in: "The criteria which the govt has now set out for a return to 0.7% are so stringent that it risks making permanent rather than temporary the reduction in our overseas development"
Read 10 tweets
13 Jul
NEW: No.10 defends Priti Patel after Tyrone Mings ( @OfficialTM_3 ) criticism. “The Home Secretary has been clear there is no place for racism in our country and that's why she is backing the police to hold those responsible accountable [for racist abuse]..."
PM's official spokesperson said: "The Home Secretary is working every day to clamp down on hate crime, racism and violence..."
PM opened today's cabinet meeting with a condemnation of the racist abuse aimed at some of the England team.
Spokesperson: "He said the abuse was utterly disgraceful and had emerged from the dark spaces of the internet...
Read 6 tweets
12 Jul
Exclusive: Masks Will Be Optional For MPs But *Compulsory* For Parliament Staff From July 19
.@ProspectUnion chief Garry Graham: "It is frankly ridiculous that staff will be required to wear masks around the estate but the very MPs and government ministers who set the rules will not.”
A spokesperson for Speaker Hoyle told HuffPost UK: “We have no employment or contractual relationship with Members which would enable us to mandate the wearing of masks. We therefore encourage Members to support us in keeping the Estate safe.”
Read 5 tweets

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