PM on if lifting lockdown restrictions in England will be lifted early

When asked if he would consider speeding up the easing, Boris Johnson said, “Of course I understand the urgency people feel, but we have to be guided by the data, we have to look at the infection rates.

“Don’t forget that they are still very high compared to last year – we still have thousands of people in the hospital with Covid.

“Unfortunately we have seen the curve rise again in other European countries and we openly remember what happened every time we saw these upward curves in our friends and neighbors that it did not take too long before we did see an increase in this country too.

“We just have to be careful, and the whole point of this roadmap is that it should be cautious but irreversible. We believe we can do this because of the success of the vaccine rollout.”

“I think people would really rather trade some urgency and rush in favor of security and certainty about the dates we set.”

Mr Johnson was also asked if it was time to spend £ 200,000 on renovating his Downing Street apartment – and if the bills were paid by the Conservative Party or private donors.

The Prime Minister replied: “All such inquiries will be answered in the normal manner.”

Dr. Jenny Harries, England’s assistant chief medical officer, has downplayed proposals that schools may have to close again if new cases emerge.

Speaking to a press conference # 10, she said: “I think we can be very optimistic about the future.

“The testing program in schools should mean that the likelihood of a case going to school and then the number of children having to leave school to isolate themselves is greatly reduced.

“At the beginning of this program there can be a very short period of time in which everyone gets used to it and a large number of children leave school and then calm down.

“It’s really important that people think through the next three to four weeks, not the first one or two.”

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