Tough new coronavirus restrictions are needed to “mitigate” the pandemic, but levels will be lowered in areas where the virus is retreating, Dominic Raab said.
The Secretary of State told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, “The reality is we want to get out of national confinement and stay out.
“There is hope and light at the end of the tunnel ahead of regulatory approval for the vaccine to be ready for use and distributed through the spring, which will allow a real step back to normal life.
“The two things we need in between are this tiered approach so that we focus on the virus where it is most dangerous.
“We’re starting with a more restrictive approach than before with the localized approach, but that allows us to slow down when we’re sure the virus is declining and stabilizing – there is an evaluation every two weeks. .
“The second is the testing and what we’ve seen, we’ve had 12 million people tested and we’ve seen the community-wide tests in Liverpool … that really help us fight the virus.
“Those two things are the crucial bridge to that light at the end of the tunnel in the spring.”
Mr Raab said the number of coronavirus cases would increase exponentially if the restrictions were not applied at a broader level, as in all provinces.
He told Sky, “Where you have low levels in one area, but it’s surrounded by areas of other higher levels …
“If you don’t apply at a broader level – that’s why we use the nationwide base – the same restrictions, all that’s going to happen is the virus at those lower levels … rising exponentially.”
But when asked why that didn’t apply to Tier 2 London, the Secretary of State said, “You have to look at the five principles.”