British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a roadmap today on how to “cautiously” lift coronavirus restrictions. Johnson will first announce the details of the plan in the House of Commons today and hold a press conference in the evening.
Speaking to the BBC, deputy minister in charge of the vaccination program Nadhim Zahawi said the restrictions are foreseen to be lifted in two stages.
8 Mart: All schools will be reopened. After school sports and other activities will be allowed. Two people will be able to come together in recreational areas such as a park. Residents of nursing homes will be allowed to have physical contact with a visitor.
29 Mart: Up to six people will be allowed to meet in the open air. This will include the gardens of the houses. Outdoor sports facilities will open their doors again. Outdoor sports facilities will open their doors again
BBC Political Correspondent Laura Kuenssberg stated that the restrictions will be lifted gradually every five weeks.
Prime Minister Johnson had previously said that at each stage, the speed at which the virus spreads will be examined and the next step will be taken accordingly.
Johnson’s goal is to move forward “without reversing a measure that has been lifted.”
These steps will depend on factors such as vaccination going as planned, reducing the number of deaths and patients requiring hospital treatment, and new variants not posing additional risks.
BBC Health Reporter Nick Triggle
One of the most interesting things about the roadmap is that the increase in the number of cases will not be seen as an obstacle to loosening measures.
Some scientists and teachers’ unions say that an increase in cases should not be allowed.
However, the government states that the increase in the number of hospitalized people, not the number of cases, will affect the decisions.
This is an important difference. The vaccination program will break the parallel between the number of cases and hospitalizations.
Government advisers say schools are not a major source of contamination. But opening all schools will certainly lead to some increase.
The number of people receiving treatment in hospitals is still close to the peak levels in spring 2020.
Moreover, an increase in the number of cases at a time when vaccines are being introduced will increase the risk of mutation.
However, the distance England has covered in vaccination provides room for maneuver in this regard.
As part of Prime Minister Johnson’s roadmap, the UK Public Health Agency will also publish data on the impact of vaccines on transmission rate.
According to Health Minister Matt Hancock, the infectious rate of those who had the vaccine fell “sharply” compared to the first wave.
However, Hancock said the number of people receiving hospital treatment is still high. Currently, this number is around 18 thousand.
The first dose of vaccine has been given to 17.5 million people in the country so far. 334 thousand of these people also received the second dose of vaccine. It is aimed that everyone over the age of 50 will be vaccinated by April 15, and the rest by the end of July.
An explanation is expected this week on the criteria by which vaccination will progress in the group under 50.
According to the data of American Johns Hopkins University, the total number of deaths in England, the country with the highest number of deaths from Covid-19 in Europe, exceeded 120 thousand.
It was announced that 215 people died in the country yesterday.
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