PM confirms when plan to exit England restrictions will be announced

Boris Johnson has urged people to be “optimistic but also patient” about the fight against Covid.

The Prime Minister said at a press conference on Downing Street that next week’s “roadmap” should “say as much as possible about the path to normal, although some things are very uncertain”.

He said, “We want this lockdown to be the last. And we want progress to be cautious but also irreversible. “

Mr Johnson said there were still more hospital patients with Covid-19 than at the height of the first wave, and admissions were going on at 1,600 a day across the UK.

He said, “We have to keep our foot on the ground.”

The next million letters of invitation offered vaccine appointments for people aged 65 and over and those aged 16 to 64 with underlying diseases, as well as for adult caregivers.

“If we can keep up this pace and keep supplies stable – and I hope and believe we can – then we hope to have vaccinations for everyone in the top nine priority groups, including everyone over 50, by the end of April. ”

UK chief physician Professor Chris Whitty said the number of people hospitalized in the UK with coronavirus is declining but “rates are still very high”.

“They are around the point, actually slightly above where they were at the height of the epidemic last April,” he told the press conference.

“So these are still very high rates, but they’re definitely going in the right direction.”

Prof. Whitty said death rates remain high but will continue to decline.

He also stressed that protection from coronavirus vaccines is not immediate, but rather occurs after two or three weeks.

“Then people have a second vaccine, which increases the level of protection and also lasts longer. So it is imperative that they do so when asked to have their second vaccine.”

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