Matt Hancock holding conference tonight as minister targets lifting lockdown

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Matt Hancock is set to hold a press conference on Monday evening amid a government minister's claim the coronavirus lockdown could begin to be eased gradually in March.

The Health Secretary's briefing will come after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab suggested the latest national lockdown could start being relaxed in a couple of months.

It is thought Mr Hancock will address the nation at 5pm.

Mr Raab said the current restrictions are likely to be in place throughout the whole of February but the country might be in a position to return to the old tiered system in March.

He said: "What we want to do is get out of these national lockdowns as soon as possible, the roadmap that I described is that by early spring, hopefully by March, we'll be in a position to make those decisions.

"I think it's right to say we won't do it all in one big bang; as we phase out of the national lockdown, I think we'll end up phasing through the tiered approach.

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"We want to make sure that we can do it in a safe way but again, we've got to, at this point in time, really focus on protecting the NHS and rolling out the vaccine.

"If we do those two things, we get into a much better place by early spring."

On Monday the Covid-19 vaccine rollout was extended to all people aged 70 and over in England, meaning more than five million people in high priority groups will be invited to have the jab.

But Mr Raab failed to guarantee that everyone will receive a second dose of a coronavirus vaccine within a 12 week target period as he dampened hopes of all UK adults getting the jab by the end of June.

  • Coronavirus
  • In the News
  • Lockdown

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