Boris Johnson is ‘hopeful’ coronavirus restrictions can be cautiously eased in coming weeks

The prime minister will be analysing data on coronavirus case numbers, hospital admissions, deaths and the impact of the vaccine rollout ahead of his announcement on Monday

Boris Johnson says he is "hopeful" coronavirus restrictions can be cautiously eased in the coming weeks, with vaccines providing "grounds for confidence".

The prime minister, who will set out his 'road map' out of lockdown on Monday, disclosed this to a Downing Street briefing he hoped the current national lockdown would be the last.

Preliminary data comparing elderly people who have received the vaccine with those who have not is starting to show it is cutting hospital admissions and deaths, the Times newspaper reported.

Ministers have already been given data showing vaccines are cutting illness by about two thirds, while a separate study suggests jabs are reducing transmission, the paper reported.




The prime minister will be analysing data on coronavirus case numbers, hospital admissions, deaths and the impact of the vaccine rollout this week ahead of his announcement.

A Public Health England spokesman said: "It is too early to draw firm conclusions from our surveillance programme.

"We have been analysing the data since the start of the vaccination programme rollout and will publish our findings in due course."


Mr Johnson said there were "grounds for confidence" that vaccines were helping to curb the spread of coronavirus, not just in protecting those who received the jab.

"We have some interesting straws in the wind, we have some grounds for confidence but the vaccinations have only been running for a matter of weeks."  He told yesterday's press conference.

NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said the end of April target to vaccinate the estimated 17 million people in the next five priority groups has been set due to "likely vaccine supply", but added "if supply increases then we think we can go faster".


He confirmed vaccines are being reserved for second booster doses, as he described the rollout of the vaccine programme as "two sprints" followed by a marathon.

In England, no decisions have been made on whether all pupils can return to school at the same time on March 8, he said.

It comes after reports suggested a staggered approach may be taken, with secondary schools going back a week later than primaries.



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