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“Boris Johnson’s sluggish timetable will do unnecessary damage to businesses and livelihoods”, says IEA expert

Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, responded to Boris Johnson’s roadmap to lift lockdown measures in England 

“Boris Johnson’s sluggish timetable will do unnecessary damage to businesses and livelihoods. By Easter, everybody who has more than a remote chance of dying from Covid-19 will have been vaccinated. There is no justification for closing businesses and restricting movement beyond that date.

“Lockdowns create extraordinary social and economic harm. The government has to justify every extra day they are kept in force. Within a few weeks, it will no longer be able to do so. In the meantime, it should ramp up the vaccination programme and ensure that firms which have been forced to close are given enough financial support to survive.

“What the Prime Minister has announced is the opposite of a data-driven approach. It ignores everything we know about the vaccines in favour of a suck-it-and-see approach that assumes we know nothing. We do not need five weeks to see the impact of a slight policy change nor do we need to wait until June to know that vaccinating everybody over the age of 50 will drastically reduce the number of hospital admissions and deaths.”

Notes to editors

For media enquiries, please contact Emily Carver on 07715 942 731 or

IEA spokespeople are available for further comment and interview.

For IEA reading on restoring freedom after lockdown, click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

Prime Minister sets out roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions

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