Don't let the moaners needle you – Britain's Covid jab rollout is the envy of the world
YOU might not believe it from the headlines but it’s been a good news week.
Booming car giant Nissan finally stopped threatening to quit Britain — thanks to Brexit.
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Joe Biden chose Boris as the first European leader to call after being sworn in as America’s 46th president.
Black cab drivers scored a victory over London mayor Sadiq Khan’s “traffic-calming” madness and the pop-up bike lanes which have gridlocked towns and cities.
And I had my first Pfizer jab, joining the six million now almost fully protected against killer Covid.
I am happy to wait 12 weeks for a second dose.
Britain is now bang on target to vaccinate everyone over 65, those in care homes and the medically vulnerable by the middle of next month, as promised.
Tragically, we are about to pass 100,000 Covid-related deaths — among the highest per head of population in the world.
But infection and fatality rates are beginning to decline and should soon drop fast.
Ministers badly burned by previous U-turns won’t predict a rapid reopening of schools.
But if they pulled their fingers out, children could be back in classrooms with their pals within five weeks.
Independent schools and academies are ready to set up vaccination hubs working 16 hours a day to vaccinate all one million teachers and support staff within a week.
Ultra-cautious Downing Street won’t say so openly, but a senior minister tells me lockdown could be lifted within weeks.
The hope is that most of the country will be in Tiers 2 or 3 by the end of February — happily a short month — or soon after.
There are already calls for gyms, pools, tennis and golf to resume.
ROUND OF APPLAUSE
Thanks to fleet-footed decisions to buy Oxford and Pfizer vaccines last summer, Britain will cry freedom weeks before our EU neighbours and, indeed, most of the world.
For all the cock-ups and chaos, Boris Johnson’s team, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the much-abused Public Health England deserve a round of applause.
They won’t get it, of course.
There is little sign of critics giving this Government credit where credit is due.
BBC cameras patrolling Covid wards invariably manage to film someone in tears for the six o’clock news.
The Guardian enraged mild-mannered health chief Chris Whitty with “scaremongering” claims the Pfizer jab was only 30 per cent effective, not the official 89 per cent.
Nor is there clear evidence the Kent, Brazil and South Africa mutations are deadlier than others — or more resistant to jabs.
Britain’s vaccine roll-out, aided by The Sun’s 50,000-strong Jabs Army, is now the envy of the world.
Shockingly, Brussels has still not approved the life-saving Oxford-AstraZenica serum — a scandal ripping EU unity asunder.
Instead of rushing to vaccinate their own 500million citizens, the EU has barred British travellers from crossing the Channel.
Indeed, travel restrictions are the one downside in a week of relatively good news.
All arrivals to the UK must now quarantine under security watch for a fortnight — a decision seen as long overdue.
Even if we could buy plane tickets, there’s nowhere to go.
Guernsey has self-isolated.
Australia is off the tourist map until 2022 at the earliest.
New Zealand and America are out of bounds.
And nobody wants to go to China.
Germany is threatening to break sacred EU free movement laws by barricading itself against other member states, and tourist-hungry Spain is tightening curfews.
It looks like 2021 will be another stay-cation summer for British holidaymakers.
Boris has set an example by inviting world leaders to Cornwall’s Carbis Bay Hotel, now fully booked for the season.
It may be pure envy, but I’m happy with the ban on smiling, selfie-obsessed celebs and sports stars sunning themselves in St Barts.
And now there’s one more reason to be cheerful.
French wine producers warn prices will rise because of Brexit.
But thanks also to Brexit, we’re close to a trade deal with New Zealand which produces a very tasty and competitive sauvignon blanc.
It also opens the door to car sales worth £200million — one of the reasons Nissan is smiling.
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