BORIS Johnson’s government was warned there is “significant risk” in abandoning all Covid-19 restrictions before making yesterday’s announcement.

The Tory government confirmed nearly every coronavirus law would be scrapped England from July 19, including mandatory mask wearing and social distancing rules.

Speaking at last night’s press conference, the Prime Minister and his chief medical officer advised that the decision is likely to lead to an increase in both Covid-19 cases and deaths.

Johnson insisted the move is driven by “data, not dates”, but scientists on Sage (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) warned of the risk in allowing cases to spread.

The group recommended maintaining masks and social distancing to make detecting localised outbreaks easy to identify before they become unmanageable.

Sage also warned that poorer people, and those from a minority ethnic background, have higher risks of infection and lower vaccination rates, meaning increasing infections is likely to “increase health inequalities”.

"There is significant risk in allowing prevalence to rise, even if hospitalisations & deaths are kept low by vaccination,” the group told the UK Government.

"If it were necessary to reduce prevalence to low levels again ... then restrictive measures would be required for much longer."

Sage noted that some countries, like New Zealand, which have very low Covid levels still opt to use face coverings in some places to reduce the risk from outbreaks.

According to Sage, it is now “highly likely” there will be a spike in coronavirus cases after July 19 – and “super spreader” events are also expected.

Coronavirus case numbers could reach 100,000 per day in the summer as restrictions are eased, according to UK Government Health Secretary Sajid Javid (below).

The National:

“By the time we get to the 19th, we would expect case numbers by then to be at least double what they are now, so around 50,000 new cases a day,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today this morning.

“As we ease and go into the summer, we expect them to rise significantly and they could go as high as 100,000 case numbers.

“We want to be very straightforward about this, about what we can expect in terms of case numbers.

“But what matters more than anything is hospitalisation and death numbers, and that is where the link has been severely weakened.”