Boris Johnson News – Boris Johnson sets out next steps in easing England lockdown and reopening schools – and key dates
The Prime Minister has confirmed that the Government will set out a “route map” out of England’s national lockdown on February 22 – with schools the first to reopen when restrictions are eased.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson said that in the run-up to the review of lockdown in the week beginning February 15, the Government would be accumulating more data so it could start charting a way forward, starting with the reopening of schools.
Mr Johnson said the Government believed March 8 was the “prudent” date to begin reopening schools in England.
This is three weeks after the most vulnerable groups should have received the vaccine, by which time immunity should have set in.
The PM said that the evidence showed that the coronavirus vaccines reduce “death and serious illness” from the main strains of the disease.
He said: “What we don’t want to do now that we are making progress with the vaccine rollout and we have got a timetable for the way ahead, we don’t want to be forced into reverse.
“We think this is the prudent and cautious approach. I think it is much better to stick to that.”
Mr Johnson said the country would be in a “very different situation” to last summer where disease levels had been reduced but there was no vaccine.
He said: “We always knew it had the capacity to surge back in the autumn and over the winter months as indeed it has.”
“This time as we go into the second half of the year we are going to have the confidence of knowing a huge proportion of the British public – particularly the most vulnerable – will have been vaccinated and probably have received a very high degree of immunity.
“That will very much change our approach to the autumn and the winter – highly infectious respiratory diseases don’t go away all together, at least not easily.”
He said coronavirus infection rates remain “alarmingly high”, and warned that even those who have had their second dose of the vaccine must stick to social distancing rules.
Ten million people have now had their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Boris Johnson News - Boris Johnson sets out next steps in easing England lockdown and reopening schools - and key dates
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