NEIL Oliver has said he “firmly predicts” the country will be back in lockdown at some point before the end of the year.
The GB News host argued that the UK’s leaders are “addicted to the power” they have had while coronavirus restrictions have been imposed.
His comments come despite Boris Johnson announcing the lifting of Covid restrictions on July 19 in England – something he suggested will be irreversible after admitting the public will have to “learn to live” with the virus.
In Scotland, restrictions are set to ease to Level 0 by that date, with the remaining restrictions (potentially except for face masks), being eased on August 9.
Speaking on the controversial network’s Tonight Live with Dan Wooton last night, Mr Oliver admitted he will be “living his life” from this point on – suggesting he will no longer abide by restrictions.
Mr Wootton said: “I remain worried that, yes we have been granted freedom.
“But all of the language coming from Boris Johnson seemed to suggest they might just take it away again over winter.
“Do I have a right to be paranoid today?”
Responding, Mr Oliver said: “I completely agree with you and share all of your reservations.
“I don’t believe a word of it, there have been so many false freedom days or other versions of it along the way.
“I will believe it when I see it.
“But I think there is nothing so permanent as temporary government powers and government measures.
“They are addicted to the control that they have been able to impose over every aspect of life.”
He added: “I firmly predict that we will be back in lockdown of one sort or another between now and the end of the year. It is only a matter of time.
“I am sick to death of the whole thing, I think it is nonsense.
“If we spend the rest of our lives living in fear of a disease that is under control, I give up.
“I will be living my life from this point on.”
The television presenter previously sparked controversy after describing the idea of vaccinating children against coronavirus as “nothing less than grotesque”.
Earlier today, Kate Forbes said that Scotland will have “fundamental differences” to England after July 19 with certain restrictions continuing for a much longer time.
The Finance Secretary said some legal restrictions such as wearing face masks are likely to continue even after August 9 when Scotland plans to move “beyond Level 0”.
Her comments came ahead of the latest coronavirus figures showing the deaths of six coronavirus patients in Scotland were recorded in the past 24 hours.
New daily cases north of the border continued to fall to 2,363 but numbers in hospital continue to rise.
Under the current plan, all of Scotland is expected to move to Level 0 on July 19, allowing slightly more freedoms including groups of up to eight people in homes and 10 in pubs and restaurants, although from just four households.
But on that same day, all laws on mask wearing and social distancing in England are likely to be scrapped entirely, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday.
Scotland’s First Minister has previously announced that the next easing of “major” legal limits are expected to happen on August 9 north of the border.
Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Ms Forbes also said the Scottish Government “expect there to be some baseline measures” that will be in force beyond that date.
Warning that Scotland was still in a “fragile position”, she said: “We all want to get back to some form of normality and the First Minister has set out in Scotland our own timetable.
“There are some similarities but there are two fundamental differences with Boris Johnson’s announcement yesterday.
“The first is, on the timetable itself: we have said that all of Scotland will move to Level 0 on July 19, so that includes the easing of physical distancing indoors and outdoors, and then we’ll move beyond Level Zero from August 9.”
Ms Forbes added: “But we do think that there will still be some baseline measures – for example the wearing of face masks – which will continue for a longer period of time because we all know the virus is still with us and it is still infectious.”
The latest Scottish Government figures published on Tuesday afternoon show the death toll under the daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 7,735.
The daily test positivity rate is 10.2%, down from 12.6% the previous day.
A total of 346 people were in hospital on Monday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up eight in 24 hours, with 32 patients in intensive care, up two.
So far, 3,879,458 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 2,791,071 have received their second dose.