The This Morning presenter, 59, went on an explosive rant during Monday’s edition of the show, saying he feels the June 21 ‘freedom day’ should not be delayed, especially when suicide rates were up, and people were struggling with anxiety.
‘Suicide is up, anxiety is through the roof and businesses are folding’: Phillip Schofield slammed idea of June 21 freedom day being pushed back in a rant on Monday’s This Morning
‘You saw businesses that spent a fortune on their Perspex screens and making their businesses safe and they got shut down anyway.’
Phillip went on to claim that because Covid cases were dropping the extension of lockdown was not necessary, especially when the public are struggling mentally and financially.
He added: ‘We can see as clear as day that deaths are thankfully down, we can see hospital admissions are flat, we can see it was all to protect the NHS but the NHS isn’t under pressure.’
Candid: Speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer and Matthew Wright (pictured), he said: ‘It’s pretty hard to pin down what anyone’s thinking here, whether it’s Matt Hancock or Boris Johnson’
Matthew pointed out: ‘When other countries were going into lockdown those countries had a lot lower death rate than us. Every decision about Covid is political.’
To which Phillip hit back: ‘If suicides are up, if anxiety is through the roof and businesses are folding, there’s a pub near me, that’s gone, then what political decision keeps that happening?’
Matthew debated, ‘There are other countries who have carried on like normal because they made political decisions different from ours, stronger decisions some might argue earlier, and we’re playing catch up but the vaccine is our way out long term.’
Thoughts: Phillip claimed because Covid cases were dropping the extension of lockdown was not necessary, especially when the public are struggling mentally and financially
On Saturday, it was reported that England’s ‘Freedom Day’ on June 21 may be delayed for two weeks by the Prime Minister.
According to ITV News, government sources have said that plans are being made to push the lifting of coronavirus measures back to July 5 to allow more people to get the second dose of Covid vaccinations.
‘Government sources have again stressed that no decision has been made but I understand that in private other plans are being drawn up,’ ITV’s correspondent Richard Pallot said on Saturday evening.
‘If there was a two-week delay then in theory all over 50s would get a chance of a second vaccine,’ he added.
Health: He went on, ‘Deaths are thankfully down, we can see hospital admissions are flat, we can see it was all to protect the NHS but the NHS isn’t under pressure’
It was reported on Friday that secret plans were being worked on to delay the lifting of measures by two weeks in addition to retaining social distancing and limits of crowds past Freedom Day.
Saturday’s report comes after a government scientist warned that pushing ahead with a full reopening later this month in England would be ‘foolish’ and a ‘major risk’, which followed Covid cases jumping by 70 per cent in a week on Saturday, reaching 5,765. However, health chief insisted vaccines do ‘break the chain’.
There is currently enough evidence to say that due to the spread of the Indian variant, one of the Government’s four key tests for its road map out of lockdown has not been met, Professor Stephen Reicher said.
Concerns: Phillip added, ‘If suicides are up, if anxiety is through the roof and businesses are folding, there’s a pub near me, that’s gone, then what political decision keeps that happening?’
Multiple reports have suggested plans to lift all restrictions on June 21 could be scaled down, with social distancing and the wearing of face coverings set to continue amid concerns that the variant that originated in India, now known as Delta, is fuelling a surge in cases.
On Friday the UK recorded its highest number of new confirmed coronavirus cases – 6,238 – since late March, according to official figures. Saturday’s figure was down slightly at 5,765 lab-confirmed cases.
Meanwhile figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested the number of people who had the virus in England has increased by around three-quarters in a week, taking it to its highest tally since mid-April, with the R value between 1 and 1.2.
Debate: Matthew pointed out, ‘When other countries were going into lockdown those countries had a lot lower death rate than us. Every decision about Covid is political’