Uk News How Boris Johnson's lockdown roadmap will respond to cases, vaccines - and new variants United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - The Prime Minister will make clear the timetable could change if cases start spiking again
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! When the Prime Minister unveils the roadmap for the lifting of lockdown measures in England, he will make clear that each date is not set in stone but dependent on what is happening with the virus.As ministers keep repeating, the guiding principle is “data not dates”: while it is likely that schools will reopen and some care home visits will be allowed on 8 March, this is the earliest date for those changes, not a fixed timetable.While ministers and scientific advisers are optimistic that the country’s epidemic will not change significantly in the two weeks before then, it is the later dates on the road map that may have to be tweaked, depending on case numbers, vaccination rates and deaths.The i politics newsletter cut through the noiseEmail address is invalidThank you for subscribing!Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription.This is why each milestone on the roadmap is spaced a few weeks apart, to allow the government to be flexible in case the easing of some restrictions causes a spike or another new variant causes transmission to surge upwards, as it did in November due to the Kent strain. Read More When will schools reopen? What we know about schools in England opening ahead of the lockdown announcement As it stands, the data is encouraging: cases are still falling, although the drop in the seven-day average has slowed in the past week, suggesting they may begin to plateau as the natural limits of this lockdown are reached. Prevalence in England has dropped dramatically in six weeks, from a rate of 680 per 100,000 people on the day lockdown began to 131 per 100,000 now, although this figure is still high.The number of new hospitalisations and deaths from Covid-19 are also falling fast – a drop of 28.2 per cent for deaths, week on week, while for new patients the fall is 22.
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. The faster rate among deaths compared to new cases points to a vaccine effect, as the people most at risk from dying from coronavirus are the groups who will have now received at least one dose.But while these figures show how the lockdown and the vaccines are making a real difference to the national epidemic, the fact that all the numbers remain high explains why ministers want to remain cautious about the easing of restrictions: the seven-day average for deaths, for example, is around the same as it was in the week before Christmas. Read More Matt Hancock rejects calls for teachers to be given priority in vaccine queue What is different now, of course, is the rollout of the vaccine programme which means death rates and hospitalisations are going in the right direction, and falling faster than new cases.The prospect of a new variant taking hold is diminished while the Kent strain, which can be tackled by the vaccines, remains dominant. On Sunday Health Secretary Matt Hancock said cases of the South African variant, which could make vaccines less effective, were now dwindling in the UK. There have been a total of 300, which are mostly historic, Mr Hancock told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme, and there are now “around a dozen” new cases of the South African strain.The risk is that, as the vaccines combat the dominant Kent variant, the lifting of restrictions allows the South African strain – or another, unknown mutation – that is less susceptible to vaccines to take hold. While this threat remains, the plan is to ease England out of lockdown gradually and cautiously.
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