BORIS Johnson has been ordered to “hold his nerve” and stick to his virus recovery plan next month or face a jobs catastrophe.
Senior Tories are calling for final lifting of lockdown to get the go-ahead despite concerns over the Indian Covid-19 variant.
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Warnings have been raised after the Prime Minister said that the strain could “seriously disrupt” plans to ditch restrictions and that the country faces “hard choices”.
Ex-Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: “Having a stop-go, stop- go approach will roll us into the winter with an economic disaster.
“We can’t afford to do that. Ministers have got to hold their nerves. We have got to be careful, but we are so jittery we are in danger of frightening ourselves into a corner.
“Over-reacting is as bad as under-reacting, we have to trust the vaccine.
“If we don’t believe it, we are in trouble. As US President Roosevelt said, ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’.”
Mr Johnson had said only on Monday he felt “very positive” about plans that could end legal limits on social distancing, including scrapping the one-metre rule.
But there is currently a review into the matter.
The Government hopes the final stage, to take place no earlier than June 21, will see the re-opening of remaining premises, such as nightclubs.
Tory MP Mark Harper, writing in The Sun on Sunday, said on-going seasonal restrictions would be “a disaster for businesses, jobs and people’s wellbeing”.
The chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, added: “To those with secure jobs in Whitehall who preach the precautionary principle, I say this, ‘Your abundance of caution will mean other people receive redundancy notices’.”
England will enter stage three of the recovery plan tomorrow with the start of indoor mixing, hotels re-opening and hugging.
But Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said it is currently an “anxious time” for theatres, music venues and sports stadiums hoping to re-open with full houses next month.
He added the country is entering a period of “heightened vigilance”.
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