The Prime Minister is set to hold a Downing Street press conference at 5pm amid speculation over how long England’s lockdown will last.
Boris Johnson is expected to talk about the progress of the UK’s vaccine rollout, with nearly five million people having received at least their first dose. Nearly million people received the jab within the past week.
But the PM is also set to warn Brits not to let their guards down, having recently refused to rule out extending the lockdown until summer.
The Government is still on track to get the most vulnerable people in the country vaccinated by February 15, providing some light at the end of the tunnel.
But experts modelling the pandemic have suggested there could still be a huge surge in cases if restrictions are lifted too early.
Dr Marc Baguelin, from Imperial College London, who sits on the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M) which advises the Government, said the opening of the hospitality sector before May would lead to another ‘bump’ in transmission.
But UKHospitality chief Kate Nicholls warned delaying reopening until then would mean there would be ‘very little left’ of the sector once the measures were finally eased.
A group of 70 Tory MPs from the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group have urged the PM to provide a timetable of restoring freedoms by March.
its chairman Mark Harper said: ‘People must see light at the end of the tunnel and feel hope for the future and businesses need to be able to plan our recovery.’
More to follow.
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