Boris Johnson channels his inner Santa to give us the prospect of normality by Christmas

And what about parents? If Victoria from Tadcaster hadn’t submitted a question on childcare (see video above), one wonders whether it would even have been mentioned at all. With schools on summer holidays but most childcare camps cancelled, how were workers with kids supposed to return to the office before September? 

But at this point Mr Johnson, seeming as baffled by the guidance as the public, wrongly suggested that grandparents could form household bubbles to help out. One grandparent can, but both still aren’t supposed to.

There was nothing concrete in the speech about extending gatherings of more than six people, either.

The only relief for parents came with the Prime Minister reiterating that all schools would fully reopen next term, with universities looking to do the same. 

Amid criticism that the Government’s coronavirus response has been more than a little alpha, there was finally some welcome news for beauticians (and their largely female clients), who can reopen from next month along with bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos, although nightclubs and soft play centres will remain closed.

Another welcome chink of light came in the announcement that indoor performances with a live audience can restart – subject to successful pilots – and there might even be scope for larger “stadia” gatherings later this year. 

News that weddings could go ahead with 30 guests coincided with the revelation that Princess Beatrice had on Friday morning married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a low-key ceremony, attended by the Queen and Prince Philip, at Windsor Castle. 

With Dido Harding, who chairs NHS Improvement, at his side, Mr Johnson’s pledge to test up to 500,000 people a day by the autumn appeared ambitious but achievable as the pair revealed well over 200,000 people a day were now being tested.

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