The Home Secretary has said that it is ‘too early’ to discuss the easing of lockdown restrictions.
A third national lockdown was announced in England on 4 January, however, most of the country has been under Tier 4 lockdown restrictions for longer, some since 20 December.
During a round of TV interviews on Wednesday, Priti Patel said that the UK had a ‘long way to go’ before restrictions could be eased, given continued surges in hospital admissions and Coronavirus related deaths.
On Tuesday, the UK reported a further 1,610 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test – the highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic. The increase saw the UK’s reported death toll for the virus rise above 90,000 to 91,470.
Officials have said recently that lockdown measures appear to have been working, with the number of new Coronavirus infections falling. However, there is a delay between people becoming infected and being hospitalised, so it is thought pressures on the NHS are likely to remain high over the next week or weeks.
There has been no official plan announced for the easing of lockdown measures, however, there has been speculation that schools may open first, followed by retail. The reopening of hospitality is thought unlikely until more people are vaccinated and Coronavirus case rates are much lower.