Matt Hancock to hold Covid briefing after Boris admits lockdown rules could end in weeks

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Matt Hancock to hold Covid briefing after Boris admits lockdown rules could end in weeks

The Health Secretary will address the nation from Downing Street at 5pm to update the nation on the fight against Covid. It comes as new positive c

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The Health Secretary will address the nation from Downing Street at 5pm to update the nation on the fight against Covid. It comes as new positive coronavirus cases have dropped by 20 percent in the past week, with an additional 30,004 people recorded to have the virus yesterday.

With England’s third national lockdown beginning to pay off, Mr Johnson this morning hinted some restrictions could be lifted in a matter of weeks.

He said: “We’re looking at the data as it comes in, we’re looking at the rates of infection, as you know the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation predicts the most vulnerable will be vaccinated by February 15, but before then we’ll be looking at the potential of relaxing some measures.

“But don’t forget this country has made huge progress in reducing infection.

“I don’t think people want to see another big surge in infection.”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson confirms plans to relax England lockdown measures

He went on to say the re-opening of schools remained “a priority”.

He said: “Believe me, there’s nothing I want to do more than reopen schools, I’ve fought to keep schools open for as long as I possibly could.

“We want to see schools back as fast as possible, we want to do that in a way that is consistent with fighting the epidemic and keeping the infection rate down.”

A No10 source added that while a review of the current measures could take place before the middle of next month, the measures would remain in place until after February 15.

The Prime Minister is under mounting pressure from his backbench MPs to outline his plan to return the UK to normal now the vaccine is being successfully rolled out across the country.

Nearly half a million people received their first dose of a jab yesterday, meaning 6.3 million Brits now have some level of protection against coronavirus.

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Last night the first whispers of a roadmap to end the lockdown emerged.

The Telegraph reports Ministers are considering keeping the UK largely under the current measures, with maybe a few relaxations, until April.

At Easter the whole country could then move to a set of restrictions very similar to those of the old Tier Two system.

Hospitality would be allowed to open with the “rule of six” remaining in place and social distancing still required in pubs and restaurants.

The plan would then see the coronavirus rules lifted completely come July.

Downing Street has distanced itself from the plans.

Despite the rumours of a plan emerging to end lockdown and the Prime Minister’s comments this morning, Mr Hancock has warned there is no set date the current measures will be relaxed.

He said yesterday Britain was a “long, long, long way” off relaxing measures.



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