With more than four million infected people and more than 117,000 dead, Great Britain is the country hardest hit by the corona pandemic in Europe. The current measures in the fight against the virus and its mutations are correspondingly tough. A new hotel quarantine requirement for returnees from high-risk countries only came into force on Monday.
But now, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the British government is seeking “cautious but irreversible” loosening of its lockdown. Johnson said during a visit to a health center in London that the government would be “very careful” with the easing in order to avoid a new lockdown.
The government and the people of the country expected “progress that is cautious but irreversible.”
The lockdown, including school closings, is currently in effect until March 8th.
The government is expected to present a roadmap for easing in England next Monday – the regional governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for the corona measures in the other parts of the country.
Recent lockdown successful
The most recent lockdown, in place since January, was in response to a dramatic surge in the number of infections attributed to the spread of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus. Since then, the number of new infections has fallen sharply. As a result, calls have recently been growing louder for the restrictions to be relaxed in March. Over the weekend, more than 60 MPs from the ruling Tories signed a letter demanding a clear schedule from Johnson for easing and lifting all legal measures by the end of April.
However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock asked people to be patient.
The country is still a long way from easing the lockdown, he said. According to him, the government is still waiting for data on the effect of vaccines on the transferability of the virus.
The British vaccination campaign is going better than in any other European country.
The United Kingdom reached an important interim goal on Sunday: 15 million of its 66 million inhabitants have already received a vaccine dose. From Monday the immunization of the next group, which includes all 65 to 69-year-olds and high-risk patients.