The government is “looking at the potential of relaxing some” COVID-19 restrictions before the middle of February, the prime minister has confirmed.
Boris Johnson has said that ministers will assess “where we’ve got to” by February 15 – the date by which everyone in the top four groups of vaccine priority is expected to have received their first jabs.
Speaking at a vaccination centre in North London on Monday morning (January 25), Johnson said: “Before then, we’ll be looking at the potential of relaxing some measures – but don’t forget that this country has made huge progress in reducing infection. I don’t think people want to see another big surge in infection.”
He added: “We’re looking at the data and trying to work out when we’ll be able to lift restrictions.
“Schools obviously will be a priority but I don’t think anyone will want to see the restrictions lifted so quickly, whilst the rate of infection is still very high so as to lead to another great spread of infection.”
However, the Prime Minister could not guarantee if schools will re-open before Easter.
“Believe me there’s nothing I want to do more than reopen schools, I’ve fought to keep schools open for as long as I possibly could,” he said.
It comes as the UK remains in nationwide lockdown, which was imposed at the beginning of January.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has previously signalled Easter as the earliest date for the UK to consider returning to normality.