COVID-19: PM slaps down suggestions lockdown will be eased earlier.

Downing Street has denied reports lockdown restrictions may end sooner than planned if data on the effect of vaccines prove better than expected.

It was reported on Wednesday that if data from Scotland showing vaccines reduce hospital admissions by up to 94% was replicated in England the government may speed up the lifting of restrictions. A government official briefed that ministers will be examining the impact of schools reopening on 8th March on the rate of coronavirus infections. It was reported this information and data from vaccines may speed up the timetable for the country reopening.

However, Number 10 issued a firm denial that the dates laid out by the prime minister will be moved forward. Ministers are insisting that the roadmap out of lockdown, which sees most restrictions lifted by 21st June, will not be accelerated. On Monday Boris Johnson warned at each stage of ending the lockdown the government will evaluate data on hospitalisations and deaths and may delay ending restrictions if there is a surge in infections.

Conservative MPs have criticised Boris Johnson for being too cautious in his plan to unlock the nation. The UK’s vaccination programme has seen almost 18 million people receive inoculation for coronavirus. The government has come under fire for changing the goalposts on when lockdown can end, with many believing that once the vulnerable were protected restrictions could be eased.

Read more: Brits joke Boris Johnson’s Covid rule end date of June 21 is to coincide with his birthday - www.thesun.co.uk/news/14146385/brits-joke-lockdown-ends-boris-johnson-birthday/

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