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Boris Johnson's vaccine honeymoon is well and truly over

3 12 0
23.06.2021

When the Israeli government lifted one of its final remaining Covid restrictions – face masks indoors – last week, it was quickly heralded as evidence that vaccines are a gamechanger. It also offered a glimpse of how the UK’s vaccine rollout was meant to have turned out.

The UK and Israel have both been talked up as world leaders on vaccinations. Yet where Israel is now close to being back to normal, even if infections are rising slightly, the UK has just entered a four-week extension to restrictions due to a surge in cases of the Delta variant.

While ministers are optimistic over the new “freedom day” of 19 July, early hopes of a “big bang” reopening that would give the UK both a feelgood factor and a firm competitive advantage over other countries have been dashed. “We’re in this for the long haul,” says one government adviser on the Covid outlook for the rest of the year.

It’s just one of several reasons that Boris Johnson’s vaccine honeymoon is coming to an end. After months riding high on the success of the UK’s vaccine roll-out both with voters and his MPs, a raft of problems mean the Prime Minister is fast being brought back down to earth.

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