Job cuts, empty shelves push Johnson for more release

Boris Johnson / Reuters

The August 16 deadline for those vaccinated not to have to isolate themselves seems unsustainable despite the evolution of the pandemic

Business organizations are asking the British Government to advance permission to those vaccinated with two doses to live normally, even if they have been close to positive, because in the last week more than 600,000 British people have been forced to isolate themselves and the number of casualties labor is creating operational problems for different sectors.

The general director general of the Confederation of British Industry, Tony Danker, has affirmed that “the current approach of isolation is closing the economy instead of opening it”. “It is exactly the opposite of what the government wanted. Companies have exhausted their contingency plans and are in danger of having to stop in the coming weeks, “he added.

Gears of the strategy promoted by Boris Johnson on Monday – releasing restrictions and promoting the immunity of the population through vaccines and exposure to the virus – squeak. Labor Keir Starmer denounces the prime minister for creating a ‘summer of chaos’, in a blatant propaganda imitation of the ‘winter of discontent’ that brought Margaret Thatcher to office.

Perhaps no one had foreseen, for example, that promoting the injection of second doses by reducing the time between the first and the second from twelve to eight weeks would have fewer requests than expected, and that vaccination centers and pharmacies are at the same time rejecting under 30 who want to travel and received the first dose four weeks ago.

The pattern of isolates was, however, predictable. In the three weeks to July 14, with data from England, the number of people who received notification that they should isolate themselves for having spent 15 minutes near someone positive was 2.82, 2.88 and 2.52 times the number of cases. More exhaustive calculations will give an average coefficient on that correlation.

According to official data this Thursday, the number of cases, 325,223 has increased by 24.2% in the last week. The number of those warned that they must isolate themselves will also increase, as the number of hospitalizations and deaths has increased. But not in catastrophic proportions. The judgment on cautious opening in the UK would now be premature.


Johnson allowed discos and nightclubs to open at midnight Sunday, but warned Monday that a double vaccination certificate will be required in September to enter those holiday venues. Thus, it encourages 35% of young people between 18 and 30 years of age who have not been vaccinated at all to get vaccinated. The warning has only been criticized in the name of defending individual freedoms.

The strategy on the telephone app that alerts those who must isolate themselves is more debatable. The Government will allow those vaccinated with two doses to lead a normal life as of August 16, although the ‘bluetooth’ of their mobiles has detected the recent presence in their physical environment of an infected person. Build UK, the builders association, has asked Johnson to advance the date.

The installation of the app is voluntary and although the message that the affected person receives is that they must isolate themselves, there is no law that requires compliance with the recommendation, unlike the quarantines that travelers must comply with, which are rigorously monitored. The Minister of Industry, Kwuasi Kwarteng, has made the application’s isolation request mandatory, in his radio and television tour to respond to the crisis.

One consequence of the number of sick leave is that some supermarkets have had problems to stock up on products or to have enough staff in their establishments. As in previous occasions, fearful buyers are hoarding supplies and leaving some shelves empty. The pressure on Johnson to modify the insulation requirements seems unstoppable.


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