The Prime Minister said that new Covid drugs meant that next year would be a ‘different world’ for the wedding and hospitality industries, who have been decimated by restrictions this year.
He spoke while being quizzed about the future of businesses in the sector during a People’s PMQs event broadcast on social media.
But he sidestepped a cheeky question from venue owner Lara, from Cornwall, about his own nuptials.
Mr Johnson, 56, completed his divorce from second wife Marina Wheeler in the summer, and is expected to marry fiancee Carrie Symonds, 32, with whom he has a son, Wilfred.
Lara had told the PM that she lost 100 per cent of business this year and is already 30 per cent down for next year because couples are afraid to book in case restrictions on reception and service numbers are still in place.
Mr Johnson sidestepped a cheeky question from venue owner Lara, from Cornwall (right) , about his own nuptials
Mr Johnson, 56, completed his divorce from second wife Marina Wheeler in the summer, and is expected to marry fiancee Carrie Symonds, 32, with whom he has a son, Wilfred
Boris says teachers will not be vaccine priority
Boris Johnson suggested teachers would have to rely on Covid testing rather than vaccines to help manage coronavirus disruption in schools.
The Prime Minister told the People’s PMQs event the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) had drawn up a ‘pretty sensible list’ prioritising the elderly and vulnerable, as well as health and care staff.
Asked whether teachers would get a jab to help minimise the need for ‘bubbles’ of schoolchildren being forced into self-isolation, Mr Johnson said: ‘We want, in the end, to vaccinate everybody who could be at risk of either dying from the disease or transmitting it to those who are likely to be vulnerable.
‘On your point about teachers, of course we will prioritise everybody who is at risk of spreading it in that way or could be vulnerable to it.
‘But at the moment teachers and schools do already get access to lateral flow tests, the rapid turnaround tests, which should enable them to restrict the spread of the disease, to identify asymptomatic carriers, people who are infectious without knowing it.’
That would help reduce the problem of large groups being sent home from school, he said.
Mr Johnson replied: ‘If you are thinking about the summer I think you will be alright.
‘It is my strong hope and belief that by the summer one way or the other whether by vaccination – which I hope and believe we will have delivered by Easter – or by lateral flow testing, we will be in a different world.
‘My hope is by summer it really will be a different world for the weddings and events industry. And I hope your potential customers will be full of confidence and optimism as well and getting hitched in the normal way.’
Lara replied that her own wedding was cancelled last summer, and then added: ‘You are supposed to be getting married so hopefully…’
At this Mr Johnson looked flustered and replied: ‘I didn’t want to drag that in, I will have to take that one offline as they say … I think mass testing will help before Easter, hopefully, well before Easter, but I think you should be able to plan for a really much more active summer, and lots of happy nuptial events all over the UK.’
Boris Johnson said 2020 had been ‘in some ways a year to forget’. But he told the online question-and-answer session: ‘The new year brings with it new hope.
‘If we stick at it for these last few months then I know that we will defeat the virus in the same way that we have fought this virus from day one, and that is together.’
He said he wished that more was known about the way people without symptoms could spread coronavirus in the early days of the pandemic.
The Prime Minister said: ‘The truth is in this country we didn’t have that experience that they have in some Far Eastern countries, of Sars.
‘They had a history of knowing about these very difficult respiratory infections, which we didn’t have.
‘There will be a lot of work to be done at looking at the lessons to be learned.
‘I think the one thing that I wish I understood in the early days… I just wish we’d realised how much the disease could be transmitted without symptoms.
‘If we’d know that single fact it would have made a big difference to our early response.
‘We do know it now. And that’s why testing is so crucial.’