The British have one of the fastest vaccination campaigns in the world. By the end of July, every adult should have received at least one vaccine dose. A first study from Scotland proves today: Thanks to the vaccinations, hospital deliveries are falling sharply.
One might think that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now accelerating the shutdown to end. But he doesn’t. For example, restaurants or pubs cannot serve guests inside again until May. Some voices from the business world protested against it today, but they do not have much support. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, is expected to speak out for more grants next week.
The majority of the people support the approach
Johnson knows: a majority of British people support his strategy. Two thirds support strict measures and put up with them – true to the old British motto: “Keep calm, carry on”.
The maxim: stay at home, only go outside if you have a valid reason such as shopping or exercising.
Pictures of exhausted nursing staff
The state-funded health system enjoys an extremely high reputation among the population. And this beloved NHS and its nursing staff in the hospitals were completely overwhelmed during the first wave and until a few weeks ago.
The images of exhausted carers and of the fatalities were very present in the British media.
«Better safe than sorry»
The people blame the government for some of this. Johnson knows that now he has to prove that he has learned from past mistakes. Instead of being a little more courageous and business-friendly, he sticks to another British motto: “Better safe than sorry.” Freely translated: Better to be on the safe side than having to apologize later.
Great Britain Correspondent, SRF
Engbersen has been SRF’s UK correspondent since spring 2017. She has been working for Swiss television since 2008, first as a correspondent for Eastern Switzerland and later as an editor for “Tagesschau”.