Lockdown easing date

Now aiming for Good Friday apparently.  Even I am losing patience now.

I thought I heard on the BBC this morning that Vallance was pushing for June and that there was going to be a bit of a showdown.

I saw an interesting twitter feed from an Israeli scientist indicating cases weren't going down as fast as they'd hoped after vaccination, although he did emphasise it was early days.

There are lots of confounding effects to untangle: for example areas with high rates of CoVid correlate with low rates of vaccine take-up, older people take longer to register an antibody effect, and so on...

Fascinating few months for vaccinologists and epidemiologists,,,,

What date is that this year?  With cases going down 40% week on week in chunks of the country we'll be back to October levels in a couple of weeks.

why are you losing patience? don't you realise PEOPLE ARE DYING?!?! haven't you seen the BBC clips of doctors + nurses in tears? 

It will be a great Friday. Tough one for Catholic's though, go to the pub for the first time in months but its Good Friday...

Easter Friday is 2 April this year. 

I'm not expecting everything to be open and back to normal by then, but they can fook off with continuing full lockdown until then. 

I'd like to say this is surprising and shocking but it is sadly neither. And this lockdown will exceed L1 in duration if true (albeit I acknowledge that this is at the moment looser than L1).

LD3 will exceed LD1 precisely BECAUSE it is looser.

And young people will pay the price.

yeah fook young people the middle aged people have ladders to pull up 

I am with Warwick on this, life is utter shyte anyway, infection rates would be coming down faster if LD3 looked like LD1, this semi lockdown is just extending purgatory.    Stop all mixing except for essential work until end of February in preference to dragging this out for month after month after month.   I have far more patience with a hard lockdown than a long one. 

they can't ever recreate March because we know how to get around it now

this way they lose a little less face


Everything I enjoy has already been taken away so I couldn't care less if they go to L1 plus plus to get this over with ASAP. Sadly I doubt the looser restrictions in this lockdown are making a massive difference to numbers.

and really it is not significantly different from March in law

it's just ignored more in practice

what exactly is looser? you think meeting one other person for a walk in the park is SPEEDING THE SPREAD?

this only stops when you stop expecting to be able to hide from disease

I have far more patience with a hard lockdown than a long one. 

I agree really. I think hard lockdowns are a lot easier for people to understand. The prolonged halfway house just causes confusion and brings the whole thing into contempt.

Clergs what is looser is walking around the streets and seeing loads of traffic, loads of people hanging out together, loads of people mingling around coffee shops.

I know you are all in favour of this, but given restrictions wont be lifted before R down below 1, whatever you might want, I would prefer a strict lockdown people complied with by strict enforcement if necessary and get R down faster, than this purgatorial  shit until Easter or longer.

Guy - we could have done that in March too

it was never illegal

people just didnt because they were so freaked out

after a year we know what to say to the cops, we know there aren't many cops, we know that covid isn't that scary (or the sane ones do), we know that this won't ever be "over" 

the law isn't that different

we are

believe me, purgatory will last all year

because you won't say "you know what, I don't mind if everyone gets covid"

perhaps, if people not complying voluntarily any longer,  perhaps the law needs to look more like lockdown in  France.

I want R rate down as quickly as possible to get out of this as quickly as possible if that means being tougher so be it.

People who complain about lockdown then break the rules so extending lockdown are proper mental.

Numbers are falling fast though so early March should see some restrictions lifted. Gyms and pubs shortly after that, say early April. Back in the tier system.

Rates are plunging so fast that most of the country on the government interactive map is back to shades of blue rather than evil purple with places in the south east down 40%+ week on week.  Swathes of the country will soon be back at the original threshold for I think tier 2 of 100 cases per 100,000 so don't see how you can keep a full lockdown going for six weeks beyond that point.

people who think that a lawyer going to meet some friends for essential social contact are relevant to the prolonged nature of lockdown are useful idiots

to put it mildly

I am with Warwick on this, life is utter shyte anyway, infection rates would be coming down faster if LD3 looked like LD1, this semi lockdown is just extending purgatory.    Stop all mixing except for essential work until end of February in preference to dragging this out for month after month after month.   I have far more patience with a hard lockdown than a long one. 

You've officially lost your fooking head.

People like you are the very reason we're in this predicament. Absolute fooking boneheads who's answer to everything is to LOCKDOWN MOAAAAR! Fiddling around the edges and banning what little social contact we are allowed to have will not have a material impact on case numbers. It's a very fooking contagious disease which spreads through the air. There are some things humans/governments cannot control. 

Your solution for lockdowns lasting too long is to have even more/stricter lockdowns. Seriously man have a word with yourself.  


"ok well that means no amazon, no deliveroo, no repairman if your internet goes down"

and, once again, it doesn't matter how "tough" the rules are

because nobody doing the bustling is scared any more


This lockdown really isn't any looser than March. A lot of people are just doing stuff they were allowed to do then, that they didn't 

Guy why do we need hard lockdown now? I thought you were happy for restrictions to be lifted once vulnerable and oldies vaccinated, that’s happening isn’t?

What is the difference between LD3 and LD1 ? all of these are exactly the same:

  • Schools shut
  • Pubs and restos shut
  • Cinemas and nightclubs all shut
  • Almost all shops shut (even for the click and collect try on they did in LD2)
  • Work from home mandated
  • Gyms and sports facilities shut
  • NHS services reserved for Covid patients


Apart from children's playgrounds what is actually different?

Hard lockdowns and closing borders works gje.  The countries that acted hard and fast have had far less time in lockdown and taken a much smaller economic hit.  The worst of both worlds is semi lockdowns where peoples lives and the economy are basically fooked but social contact is still quite high and R rate takes forever to come down.

It doesn't fix for ever (only the vaccines will do that) but it means lockdown is shorter for each wave because the R rate falls quicker

France locked down much harder than us and closed all of its borders. They have been in a state of perpetual curfew ever since and are not allowed out of house arrest after 6pm each evening. Things there are not going better than they are here.

It’s gonna be all of this year folks.  Vaccine rollout to “vulnerable” will take a few months, then you’ve got to add 12 weeks to that for second jabs.  So that take til June.  Then they’ll have to decide whether it’s then safe enough.  They’ll probably conclude they need to vaccinate everyone over 50, the fat, and teachers (it’s always about the fooking teachers).  Plus rollout won’t have gone as smoothly as hoped and there will be questions about the effectiveness of the vaccine and covid mutations.  Then you’re getting into the Autumn/Winter and they’ll be terrified of a rise in cases.  So unless the vaccine has got it very much under control it’ll continue.  I don’t wish to be negative but that’s how I see it panning out at the moment.

I am not in the "lockdown" camp and want lockdowns over with as quickly as possible, I recognise this is not going to happen while R remains above 1 so want whatever measures we need to get it below 1 asap.    Harder lockdowns do that faster.    I am simply saying my preference given a choice of long or hard lockdown is the latter.

I agree, Sorry

I would much rather just get covid and have it do whatever it does

Guy I'm pretty sure even in the first lockdown we didn't have case numbers dropping 40-50% per week.  The plunge this time is really quite spectacular and if we'd stuck to tier 4 we'd have been plunging for an extra fortnight and would now be done and dusted.

I guess there is a chance the R rate could drop below 1 quite soon if numbers of cases are dropping as some evidence suggests. if that happens it will almost certainly happen before the first stage of vaccinations has been completed (whatever that actually means).

Do we lift restrictions because cases and hospitalisations are down or stick to it until vaccination is completed? I would be more optimistic if it's the former, less so if it's the latter.

I dont see how can be above 1.

The highest local rolling rate in the country is about 1.2% and even there the number of cases have fallen by 20% in the last seven days alone.

why not try the third way - not locking down at all

B...b..b..but the NHS!!!! 

Sails in many places case numbers are dropping by 75% and more even in the middle of London.

We should be moving everyone back to Tier 2 at a minimum immediately.


Guy why does the r rate matter if the people getting it (young and non vulnerable) don’t need nhs treatment. Before you were lockdown over once old and vulnerable first vaccinated now you seem to think that won’t happen anymore?

This is constant to and fro the vuvu maniacs on here do

"oh we cant release measures the NHS is under threat"

numbers fall, nhs is fine 

"people are still dying! How can you be so heartless as to want your life back!"

Risky, I personally would lift lockdown at end of February for that reason regardless of R rate, but I don't think that is going to happen if R rate is still above 1 so I want whatever measures put in place as are needed to ensure that it is not.

the reason this lockdown will be longer is because there are more people with the virus at the start of it than there were in march

the spread is exponential so to get it under control takes much longer when you’re starting with a higher base 

this all tracks back to the uselessness of the tier system through sept/oct when it was clear infections were increasing, and the frankly insane move to release LD2 in december to allow people to run around before xmas 

if you look at the chart this is clear (yes yes increased testing etc but you can see that if we hadn’t released LD2 before xmas we would have likely been out of it by new year instead of having to do LD3)

how this government keeps making exactly the same mistakes over and over again is incredibly depressing



Well at the current rate it should be under 1 by about the end of next week so no problem...

I sense some kind of separate agenda as the falls in cases are barely being reported and all the focus is still on deaths.

Put another way if over 70s were immune to this disease, the IFR would be not much higher than flu and we would never have gone into lockdown.     So once they are immunised we should come out.

There is no English exceptionalism here. We are doing the same as every other major western European nation and locking down and unlocking will remain more or less in sync between UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain .

I reckon pubs won't open till April 30th

Guy I think rather than giving in to the vuvu zealots you should maintain your initial vaccination criteria and fight against the addition of some Artificial R criteria. 

Yes Guy

Precedent : swine flu 2009

As a scenario. What would happen now if a new disease with the exact same profile as swine flu was discovered in autumn 2021 ?

I reckon this madness again 

We need to focus on getting schools and childcare facilities opened. 

children should not be bearing the brunt of this.

I am not in the "lockdown" camp and want lockdowns over with as quickly as possible, I recognise this is not going to happen while R remains above 1 so want whatever measures we need to get it below 1 asap.    Harder lockdowns do that faster.    I am simply saying my preference given a choice of long or hard lockdown is the latter.

All must bow before the almighty R number. Do you even know what it is/how it's calculated? It is based on MODELLING- and we all know how accurate that can be. 

To hell with "scientists" and their bullshit metrics. The pandemic has clearly demonstrated these charlatans don't really know what the hell they're on about. All they can do is produce wildly inaccurate "models" which are complete and utter guesswork at best. I think the nerds are just enjoying their time in the sun, to be honest. 


The other goalpost that keeps moving is the vaccination target. Is it over 80s only or those plus over 70s or those plus over 50s and the clinically vulnerable or those plus key workers like NHS and teachers. There is too much uncertainty in that target to be able to hold the govt to account even if the R rate and hospitalisations drop.

I want to know:

a) when the gyms will re-open

b) when I can travel Oop north

guy unlocking will increase the r rate. if we unlock when cases are at november levels it will just start rising again and we’ll be back where we were in a few weeks

the only proven “solution” is to lock down until cases are low and then monitor any outbreaks 

but in practice i doubt we’ll get there or anywhere near it - once vaccinations are relatively widespread and pressure has been relieved on hospitals boris will just open up again and we’ll see where we get to in a couple of months

this government is so utterly utterly useless 

Indeed we all know policy will respond to the news so if it's announced cases are back to September levels then eat out to help out.

Seriously stop referencing the R number...it's meaningless. 

Each epidemiologist will work out the number differently. The government actually takes R number calculations from around 10 different groups and then works out an average....wow how accurate. 

fc surely the existence of an effective vaccine must change that equation somewhat?

"Each epidemiologist will work out the number differently. The government actually takes R number calculations from around 10 different groups and then works out an average....wow how accurate. "

It worked very well with LIBOR.



all I mean by R number is whether the infection rate is growing or shrinking.

now we have so much testing it is relatively easy to tell that.

fc surely the existence of an effective vaccine must change that equation somewhat?

sure it will hopefully not only prevent deaths but also people getting seriously ill

but of course at the moment there are lot of younger people <60 hospitalised so if we let it race out of control again before vaccines are widespread we will just mess up again

but overall yes gaga vaccines have changed the game and it looks like we’re in the home stretch

fc, do you know what proportion of people under 60 who get infected end up hospitalised?

Guy from memory it's about 50% of hospitalisations are under 60s (or possibly that's under 70s). Obviously that's tilted much more heavily towards the older end of that range and is partly because there are a lot more of them than there are older people.

less than a percent? not a lot i’d imagine guy but i’m assuming a situation where we don’t lock down again and just let it infect everyone under 60 in the country who hasn’t been vaccinated 

so hospitalisations should be halved if we vaccinate all over 60s which gives us far more leeway presumably.   I think as long as the NHS is not in danger of sinking, simply trying to keep hospitals empty or near empty of covid victims does not justify lockdown especially as more people will be being vaccinated all the time.

My gym is now a lateral flow testing site, so not expecting that opening mid February 

chill, I don't think the virus quite works like that, it naturally surges and declines.  I would not at all be convinced that without lockdown the entire population would become infected at once.    I think local measures would be more appropriate where there is an outbreak simply based on local health care capacity.

I've looked up the age stats for hospital admissions, they're for the whole pandemic, but should give an idea of the proportions:

85+ - 9,099 (16%)

65-84 - 20,719 (37%)

18-64 - 24,708 (44%)

6-17 - 564 (1%)

0-5 - 650 (1%)

So it looks like 65+ is about half of hospital admissions and I suspect that 50-65 makes up a very large chunk of the 18-64 admissions.

However, there are still quite a lot of admissions for under 65s and given how fast the virus can double if unrestricted, you can't just shrug and say everything is fine just because you've reduced hospitalisations by 50%. It does of course give you more leeway though and let you start easing restrictions gradually.

You see guy, your former team will never let restrictions go

I agree James, my only point is once the elderly and vulnerable are vaccinated we should be looking at localised approach with reference to hospital capacity.    I think the first national lockdown went on far longer than necessary and I don't want the same to happen again.  We seem to only go into lockdown when health breakdown is imminent but take a far more conservative approach leaving it

Oh don't get me wrong, I am roughly where you are on easing restrictions. I just try to make sure I'm working off the real numbers, not an optimistic/actively deceitful view.

There is an almightly showdown coming between "the scientists" and the government. I don't know what way this is going to go but if someone lilke Guy who has always been fairly consistent in his position and support for restrictions is finding the timescale too long then I do wonder if the tide is turning. 

That said there is no way it would be sensible to do anything until the vast majority, if not all, of the priority groups are vaccinated and then another few weeks to build immunity. This means I think we are looking at mid-March at the earliest. However, I don't think there will be much support for continuing LD3 in its present form after that. I always felt that LD3 would last until late March. 

I want to go to Boisdale for my birthday in late March.

I already had one sucky lockdown birthday.  I don't want another

I think once granny is safe public support will start to ebb away - I agree with you Crypto.  Also people seem genuinely far more miserable this time around,  the whole country seems depressed - it’s not  all happy clappy home baking and zoom cocktails this time around - even amongst the middle classes

Judo are you a late March baby as well?  Aries?

The head of Kent public health just said on the lunchtime news that he's already having conversations about the release of lockdown in Kent which would seem to suggest it's expected sooner rather than later.

Afternoon, dudes n dickheads

The U.K. didn’t need a lockdown last summer when nobody had been vaccinated. Why the fook would it need one this summer? Use your Swedes ffs

Sails, yes. I am an Aries (my rising sign is in Libra).  I love being a March baby. In the glorious past, it was always so lovely to have one's birthday co-incide with the first blushes of spring.

Same star sign as my daughters, Judo, although they’re Aprilistas

I was blatantly conceived during the 1976 summer heatwave, when there was nothing better to do.

Ebitda nurseries are open, you're allowed to meet one person outdoors for exercise and takeaways are open. Also businesses are following the letter of the law rather than closing voluntarily. Those are what makes it easier.

What makes it harder is that it's fooking winter so opportunities for relief from sitting in front of a computer at home are limited and/or unpleasant. 

How is this lockdown not as hard as LD1

well just for starters ebitda we are allowed to exercise outdoors with someone from another  household

that didn’t come in until 13 may last time

I'm a year younger so was the result of the 1975 company conference in Sardinia.  I always loved the fact that my birthday was around the end of the school term so would doubly celebrate it being my birthday and the holidays.

Crypto did you say fooking mid March.... I think you meant mid May right ?