Dan Wootton: There’s absolutely no excuse not to return to normal life immediately

We should never have delayed Freedom Day in the first place.

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Covid-19 cases are so dramatically down that government ministers are secretly briefing newspapers that the pandemic is “all over bar the shouting”.

So there’s ample reason to kickstart our much-needed economic comeback by banishing Fortress Britain to the annals of history once and for all.

That’s why I internally squeal with delight that we are throwing open the door of our fantastic country again to some of our key allies.

From 4am on Monday, those travelling from the EU and the USA who are double jabbed will no longer have to quarantine.

Now, you know I deplore the use of vaccine passports and am fully against the creation of a two-tier “papers please” society, but it’s become inevitable they are going to be used around the world for international travel.

So this decision is a good start to welcoming back those who love Britain and want to spend money here, want to spend time here and want to do business here.

The usual suspects are out crowing that this brilliant move to show the UK is no longer cowering from Covid thanks to our superb vaccine rollout is wrong.

Angela Rayner doesn’t want to let the Americans back.

Sky News was earlier today asking ridiculous questions suggesting that allowing vaccinated American citizens in could unleash a new variant. I’d love to see the evidence for such a claim.

This is what’s going to be so interesting over the next few weeks: How do the doom merchants – at Westminster, in the Civil Service, on SAGE and in the media – who have loved spreading fear throughout this pandemic adjust to the reality that the vaccines work and we should all be going back to normal?

Not very well, I bet, because their moment of constantly trying to terrify us has come to an end.

Another anonymous minister – they’re being very chatty today – perfectly summed up the ludicrous U-turn of Professor Lockdown Neil Ferguson after he incorrectly forecast a minimum of 100,000 cases.

They told Politico: “It’s like if I told my wife our house was going to fall down next week, only to find that not only had it not fallen down, but it had magically grown a back extension and had a swimming pool put in. She’d be pleased but she’d never trust me again.”

That minister is right.

We should never trust Ferguson again.

We should never have delayed Freedom Day in the first place.

And there’s absolutely no excuse not to return to normal life immediately.

So it’s disappointing that the inward looking US President Joe Biden won’t return to the favour by opening the border to Brits.

His excuse: The Indian variant now known as Delta.

Which makes absolutely no sense, given it’s already spreading like wildfire across America.

It’s particularly cruel for Brits who have been separated for 18 months from family members and other loved ones.

But I’m glad we’ve set the right example.

Michael Gove has upped the rhetoric against the vaccine hesitant.

Taking the vaccine, he says, is a “selfish act” and will see you banned from parts of society.

That’s divisive rhetoric from such a senior minister.

And the irony is that it’s that type of messaging that, if anything, is more likely to put off the vaccine hesitant from taking the plunge.

Asked if he backed Gove's view, Boris Johnson had a different stance.

I wish people in power would realise that the consistent slamming of the vaccine hesitant is doing nothing to achieve their ultimate aim.

Now we just need to end the pingdemic which is crippling British businesses and causing many of us unnecessary turmoil and disruption.

The bad news today: Boris Johnson won’t bring forward an end to the need to self-isolate if you’re double vaccinated from August 16.

But the good news: From that date there will be no legal requirement to be tested, even if you have come into contact with someone who has Covid.

The government will encourage you to take a PCR test but won’t force you to do so by law.

Which is a common sense decision, trusting us to make sensible decisions.

We need more of that.