Covid restrictions to 'continue until daily cases drop below 1,000' as Government prepares 'roadmap' out of lockdown

COVID restrictions in the UK aren't likely to be lifted significantly until daily cases drop below 1,000, it's reported.

Boris Johnson is due to unveil a roadmap detailing a path out of lockdown next Monday.

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Cases have slumped since the start of January and are now the lowest since October, boosting hopes of an easing of restrictions.

But the PM's roadmap will insist on reviews that could postpone the reopening of shops, pubs and restaurants until numbers drop into the hundreds, The Telegraph reports.

Data reviews on infection levels could be examined to be every three weeks, it's claimed.

Cases are due to fall below 1,000 by the start of April if they continue at their current rate.

'REAL RELUCTANCE'

But the planned reopening of schools on March 8 could slow the fall in case numbers.

A senior Whitehall source told The Telegraph: "For any significant relaxation of lockdown, household mixing and reopening pubs, case numbers have to be in the hundreds, not thousands.

"The numbers are coming down quite fast, but the plan is likely to be high level and set out the tests that have to be met for restrictions to be released.

"There is real reluctance about committing to specific dates without knowing what the case numbers are doing."

When pubs and restaurant reopened last July, recorded daily case rates were around 370.

For any significant relaxation of lockdown, household mixing and reopening pubs, case numbers have to be in the hundreds, not thousands

The UK recorded 10,625 Covid cases and 799 deaths in the last 24 hours, it was announced on Tuesday.

Both fell significantly compared to last Tuesday's toll of 12,364 cases and 1,052 deaths.

Tuesday's case numbers compare to more than 60,000 a day in the first week of January.

Figures tend to be higher on Tuesdays due to a lag in recording over the weekend.

The seven-day average for cases is currently at its lowest since early October amid hopes the UK's successful vaccination rollout is having an impact on infections.

So far, more than 15.5 million Brits have received at least one Covid jab after more than 260,000 were injected on Monday.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed signs the vaccine is starting to work, with antibodies showing in more than 40 per cent of over-80s.

Meanwhile, around 26,000 patients are currently in hospital with coronavirus, the lowest level since the New Year.

The number of patients being admitted each day has fallen below 2,000 for the first time since December and the number of patients on ventilation beds is also falling.

The positive figures have lifted hopes ahead of Boris Johnson unveiling his roadmap out of lockdown on February 22.



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