Coronavirus vaccines and testing will allow the return of “normal” large events by the summer, Boris Johnson has predicted.
Speaking during an online event in which he took questions from the public, the prime minister said he believed it would soon be a “different world”.
“If you're thinking about the summer, I think you'll be alright,” he told a wedding venue manager, who was concerned about the lack of state financial support for her businesses.
"It's my strong hope and belief that by the summer, one way or the other, whether by vaccination, which I hope and believe we'll have delivered by Easter, or by lateral flow testing, we'll be in a different world.
"My hope is by summer it really will be a different world for the weddings and events industry. I hope that your potential customers will be full of confidence and optimism as well and will be getting hitched in the normal way.
“I think you should be able to plan for a much more active summer and lots of happy nuptial events all over the UK.”
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On Wednesday the UK’s medical regulator approved a new vaccine for Covid-19, and the government has pledged to start rolling it out over the coming weeks. Ministers are planning to prioritise the elderly and clinically most vulnerable.
“They're clearly going to be the elderly, the clinically extremely vulnerable, so people over 80, we're going to be prioritising then as well as care home workers and NHS staff,” he told the same event.
“We've got 800,000 vials of vaccine coming, as you know. If you go down the list you're looking at those who are really more clinically vulnerable, older people ... obviously we want in the end to vaccinate everybody who could be at risk of dying from the disease or transmitting it to those who are likely to be vulnerable.”
It is far from the first time the prime minister has predicted the end of the pandemic. Early last month he said the UK hoped to defeat the coronavirus by the spring, in March he said the tide could be turned and Covid “sent packing” in just 12 weeks.
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