Lockdown end: The five conditions that will see Boris Johnson lift UK lockdown
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Covid cases in the UK remain significantly high, with 20,089 new cases reported on January 26. The UK also reported a further 1,631 deaths within 28 days of a positive test. Many are hoping the continued rollout of the vaccine will help to get the spread of coronavirus under control, and nearly seven million people have been vaccinated to date.
Boris Johnson is expected to outline next month the full criteria the Government will use to determine whether lockdown measures can start to be relaxed.
He told a Downing Street press conference on Tuesday: “It’s fair to say the rate of infection is still pretty forbiddingly high but at a certain stage we will want to be getting things open.
“What I will be doing in the course of the next few days and weeks is sending out in more detail as soon as we can when and how we want to get things open again.”
The Prime Minister said this week the lockdown review will take place on February 15.
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What are the five conditions which could see lockdown lifted in the UK?
According to recent reports, there are five conditions which will need to be met before lockdown measures can start to be eased.
The paper will also reportedly mention specific sectors of the economy.
A government adviser told the BBC the document is likely to be “pretty broad brush”.
Rapid fall in the number of new coronavirus cases
Some 20,089 people test positive for coronavirus on Tuesday – but despite this staggering number, it seems the infection rate is falling.
Week-on-week, the number of cases has fallen by 26 percent – a positive first step for reducing the rate of infection.
Reduction in the number of deaths
The UK hit the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test on Tuesday.
But with cases falling it is hoped this number will stablise soon.
Decrease in the number of people in hospital with Covid
In the last seven days, 26,781 people have been admitted to hospital with coronavirus.
That’s a fall of 2,076 people – or a drop of 7.2 percent.
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No development of new variants
Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to set out tougher quarantine measures for “red list countries where we have particular concern about new variants”, Boris Johnson said in PMQs this afternoon.
Should any new variants be discovered around the world and make their way into the UK, this could potentially reverse the UK’s progress in controlling the spread of the virus.
The vaccine rollout programme to continue successfully
More than 7 million people have received their first dose of the vaccine – just over 10 percent of the UK’s population.
AstraZeneca bosses have claimed 30 million people could be vaccinated by March, a milestone which would mean about half the UK is protected against the deadly virus.
Emerging data about how effectively the vaccine stops virus transmission will likely be part of the Government’s analysis.
What measures will be lifted first?
The Government has not confirmed what lockdown measures will be the first to ease when rules are eventually relaxed.
But the Prime Minister is under significant pressure to outline a “roadmap” for when schools will be allowed to reopen.
Ministers have emphasised that returning pupils to education is one of the Government’s top priorities, and that students and teachers will receive notification of reopening two weeks in advance.
However, the Government has not set a timeline for when it aims to return pupils to school at present.
Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield said in a new policy briefing: “Everyone recognises the necessity of reopening schools as soon as possible, but hope alone will not make it happen.
“What is lacking is a clear roadmap towards this. There is a real danger that schools will remain closed until Easter at the earliest, or even into the summer.”
When lockdown measures can start to be eased, it is thought England will return to the tiered-lockdown system implemented in 2020.
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