PM to set out 'cautious' road map for easing coronavirus restrictions - Hancock

  • PM to set out 'cautious' road map for easing coronavirus restrictions - Hancock

PM to set out 'cautious' road map for easing coronavirus restrictions - Hancock

Despite the success of Europe's fastest vaccination campaign, the United Kingdom government has been accused of failing to protect disabled people, who are among the most at-risk from coronavirus.

The British government declared today that every adult in the country should get a first coronavirus vaccine shot by July 31, at least a month earlier than its previous target, as it prepared to set out a "cautious" plan to ease the UK's lockdown.

Ministers had set a target to offer vaccines to all adults by September, with an aim to reach all those aged 50 and over in the first nine JCVI priority groups by May. "We are in a race right now - between our ability to vaccinate and these variants which are actively trying to proliferate - and we will only win that race if we stay smart and disciplined".

He said: "We've asked the expert group, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), what order we should vaccinate in, broadly in order to reduce the number of deaths as fast as possible".

- Surge testing is to be rolled out in Brentwood, Essex, after a case of the South Africa coronavirus variant was found. People living in the area are "strongly encouraged" to take a test when offered, whether or not they have any symptoms of the virus.

Matt Hancock insisted that, despite the success of the vaccine rollout so far, and the "understandable" urge to return to normal life, the Government's goal is to take a "cautious but irreversible approach".

"We continue to see a reduction in positivity and hospitalizations throughout the state, which is good news, and this progress is allowing us to reopen the valve on our economy even further", Governor Cuomo said.

"The importance of vaccinating children is to try to stop the spread of the disease and obviously that's something, the impact of the vaccine on stopping transmission, is something that we have early evidence of", he added.

Vaccine doses per day

On Monday afternoon, the prime minister will set out his roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions, including the reopening of schools for all pupils. One is that it absolutely must be safe, specifically for children, so that is being now investigated.

John Edmunds, a member of the government's scientific advisory group, said British hospitals are still treating about 20,000 coronavirus patients, half the January peak but nearly as much as height of the first surge in the spring.

He said vaccinating all adults by the end of July will make a "huge difference" but warned that the vaccine will not give 100% protection.

"We have tried to get answers about who is getting VIP treatment but the Conservatives are refusing to tell us".

Edmunds said it was hard to say how widespread the South African variant was but that, like the rest of the pandemic, it was being held in place by the lockdown.

The Labour welcomed the vaccine targets being moved forward, but called on the government to prioritise people based on their job.

But speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Hancock said, as it stands, teachers will not be given priority. Many children will go back to school beginning on March 8 and nursing home residents will be able to have one visitor from the same date.