Andy Richardson: Boris’s closest circle have difficulty staying home

If the test and trace system is a test of Government competence, you might say they deserve the same marks they received for their handling of this year’s exam results.

Carrie Symonds with Boris Johnson
Carrie Symonds with Boris Johnson

And the trouble is, that mistake and mistake after mistake means people are going into the lockdown-lite with less inclination to follow the rules that Dominic Cummings broke.

When they see Boris’s partner and son on a five-star holiday in Italy on the day that Rishi Sunak is trying to save millions of jobs, are they really going to avoid visits from grandchildren and friends because her partner has threatened them with the Army?

The optics, as they say, aren’t good. Indeed, it seems all of Boris’s closest circle have difficulty staying home, from his father to his partner to his special adviser.

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Little wonder restaurateurs report people asking to book tables for seven, when there’s a rule of six, or that our friends in Europe have renamed Boris ‘Prime Minister Flip Flop’.

Schools are packed and so are universities, with the latter likely to provide a major new source of transmission, according to experts. Until a vaccine is widespread, we’re just going to have to live with Covid-19.

Still, hope dies last and it seems most of the British public is ignoring the example set and following their own instinct in observing social distancing.

About three quarters agree that more masks should be worn, while fewer than 20 per cent oppose the rule of six.

The new NHS Covid-19 mobile phone app

Doubts swirl around the effectiveness of Matt Hancock’s new contract tracing app, which everyone is hoping will not follow the disastrous test-and-trace regime, which traces too few people to be effective, and the nobody-believed-it-but-it-made-a-good-headline plan for Operation Moonshot.

Oh, to copy a former American President’s speeches for a living.

The new app certainly needs to capture the imagination.

A week is a long time in politics and since Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance’s grave warning, all that we’ve really done is stopped people from having one for the road.

Will that cut it in reducing the spread of the virus and getting R below one?

It’s about as likely as Boris never again performing a U-turn.

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