United Kingdom still "long, long, long way off" lifting lockdown restrictions, Hancock says

25 Janvier, 2021, 08:18 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Britain still a long way from easing virus lockdown, minister says

Delivering the latest vaccine news, Mr Hancock said 75% of all people aged 80 and over have now had their first coronavirus jab.

Some Tory MPs have been looking to early March - once the effects of the vaccine have had a chance to kick in - as a date when restrictions could begin lifting.

"We have got to look at the data, we have got to look at the impact of the vaccination programme", he said.

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"You can see the pressure on the NHS - you can see it every day".

Mr Hancock said that while he hoped schools in England could reopen by Easter, it would depend on the levels of infection in the community at that time.

"The Education Secretary (Gavin Williamson) has said that we will ensure schools get two weeks' notice of return. We have got to watch the data".

Covid rates are continuing to fall across Norfolk, with a big drop in Norwich, which had seen its rate rise hitting highs of 636 cases per 100,000 people.

Britain still a long way from easing virus lockdown, minister says

Ministers are expected to meet this week to discuss a proposal to require people arriving in the United Kingdom to pay to quarantine in a designated hotel to ensure they are following the rules on self-isolating.

Both the new South African and UK "Kent" variants appear to be more contagious, which is a problem because tougher restrictions on society may be needed to control the spread.

Dr Simon Clarke, an expert in cell microbiology at the University of Reading, said: "The South African variant has a number of additional mutations including changes to some of the virus' spike protein which are concerning". "At the moment it is all linked to travel", he told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show.

But while changes in the new United Kingdom variant are unlikely to harm the effectiveness of current vaccines, there is a chance those in the South African variant may do so to some extent, say scientists.

Speaking about possible new variants entering the country, he added: "The new variant I really worry about is the one that is out there that hasn't been spotted".

"We would have acted more quickly", Mr Thomas-Symonds said.

"We do believe you should have a second dose but we do believe that that can be delayed", he told Sky News.

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