Boris Johnson Says Roadmap Out Of Lockdown Will Be Confirmed On 22 February, Starting With Schools
Boris Johnson confirmed the government plans to reopen schools on 8 March (PA)
The Prime Minister said “we can begin to chart a way ahead” out of lockdown later this month starting with details of how schools can reopen on 8 March.
Boris Johnson committed to detailing a roadmap for easing coronavirus restrictions on 22 February, a week after the government had already said they planned to review the effectiveness of lockdown on 15 February.
The revelation came as the UK hit a major vaccination milestone, with 10 million first doses now administered.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference Johnson said: “In the days leading up to our review point in the week of the 15 February we will be accumulating even more data, helped by NHS Test and Trace, so that we can begin to chart a way ahead.
“Starting, if the data allow, with the re-opening of schools on March 8th. And I will be setting out as much as we can about that roadmap forward on 22 February.”
But although he said “there are some signs of hope” with the numbers of Covid-19 patients in hospital beginning to fall for the first time since the onset of this new wave, infection levels are “still alarmingly high”, with a further 1,322 deaths reported today.
Johnson praised the work of the Vaccine Task Force, adding: “It is thanks to their effort, the most colossal in the history of our National Health Service, that we have today passed the milestone of 10 million vaccinations in the United Kingdom.
“Including almost 90% of those aged 75 and over in England and every eligible person in a care home.
“And with every jab and every day, we have more evidence about the effectiveness of these vaccines.”
Earlier Matt Hancock hailed the 10 million vaccine milestone as "hugely significant”, with the health secretary, saying "every jab makes us all a bit safer”.
Data released by the government showed up to 2 February a total of 10,520,433 jabs have been given so far, 10,021,471 were first doses, and 498,962 were second doses.
The total went up by 374,756 on the previous day, and the seven-day rolling average of first doses given in the UK is now 408,155.
A regional breakdown by NHS England of the rollout also shows every area has delivered at least a million total jabs:
- South West - 1,037,411
- Midlands - 1,716,842.
- East of England - 1,110,475
- London - 1,072,148
- North East and Yorkshire - 1,415,252
- North West - 1,260,590
- South East - 1,464,260
The government also said the 1,322 people who had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday brought the UK total during the pandemic to 109,335.
And as of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 19,202 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus.