Boris Johnson warned to keep on the brakes for another two months as UK strains towards end of Covid national lockdown

BORIS Johnson has been warned not to rush out of the national Covid lockdown too early – in a blow to families wanting to meet up for Easter.

Brits have been in lockdown since the start of January with the Prime Minister confirming he would be outlining the road map out of the strict rules later this month.

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Overnight, the Sun revealed pubs and restaurants will be able to serve outdoors in April if Covid cases continue to fall.

But with Covid cases yesterday hitting 4million and the emergence of more infectious strains , advisers have cautioned against lifting lockdown too quickly.

And official scientific advisers have said it won't be until the start of May that numbers will be able to come down low enough to ease restrictions, the Mail Online reported.

A Whitehall source last night said: "This has to be done quite carefully because we want this to be the final lockdown. The last thing we want is to go into further restrictions."

It comes as…

  • A government source said it is hoped Brits will be sipping pints in the spring sunshine "sooner rather than later"
  • Sports fans could also be sent Covid tests along with their tickets to stop the bug from spreading
  • The number of Covid patients in hospital are expected to halve in just a month
  • The South African coronavirus variant was found in Middlesborough, sparking an urgent testing warning

A government source said it was "too early" to think about Brits being able to book holidays.

The Prime Minister will lay out plans for lifting Covid restrictions in the week beginning February 22.

It is understood hospitality had been earmarked to reopen in May, with only takeaway pints allowed in April.

But that has now been sped up in a major boost to the blighted sector.

The reopening of hospitality is being fast-tracked in a major boost to the blighted sector — and thirsty Brits.

The UK is expected to smash its vaccine target today with all 15million of the most vulnerable Brits set to be jabbed before Monday.


Boris Johnson last night hailed the vaccination programme, saying: “They are really going gangbusters – shooting the lights out.”

And while it was previously assumed age groups would be staggered for their return, the PM is now said to be considering a “big bang” approach where all pupils go back at the same time.

Other measures are being considered to keep a lid on Covid cases with reports emerging overnight that sports fans could also be sent tests along with their tickets so they can watch major events including the Euros and Wimbledon again this summer.

Prof Neil Ferguson — a government adviser and chief architect of lockdown — also said he is hopeful this will be “the final one”.

He told politics website Politico: “Certainly by May, we hopefully will be in a place much more like we were back last October.

"In something akin to Tier 2. And maybe, if there are areas with very low incidence by that time, we’d move to Tier 1-type measures.”

Scientists said yesterday the official R rate is between 0.7 and 0.9 — the first time since last July that it has been below 1 nationwide.

Separate data found London’s could be as low as 0.44. Around 35 per cent of people living there have already had Covid, according to University of Cambridge research.

UK Covid deaths also dropped by a quarter in a week. There were 758 more recorded yesterday — down from the 1,014 a week before.

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