Posted on February 2021 By Jamie Southwell
After outlining the new coronavirus lockdown exit roadmap earlier today in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, presented tonight's press briefing. With him were the UK's Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Chris Whitty, and the Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir. Patrick Vallance.
Key points from the conference:
Boris Johnson begins the briefing by announcing the fact we are "now travelling on a one-way road to freedom" because of the national vaccine effort. Allowing us to start returning to normality however, when being "realistic" as no vaccine is 100% effective, there will be more deaths similar to the flu he adds.
Even if the lockdown were to be proposed indefinitely, coronavirus could not be eradicated says Johnson.
Step 1 in the coronavirus lockdown exit roadmap is confirmed to be going ahead on March 8th as planned. Resulting in the reopening of schools and colleges across the country.
To further prevent the spreading of the virus, twice per week testing will be available for secondary school and college pupils, along with mandatory face masks. Students in university doing practical courses may return to in-person classes however, the rest of the students will need to remain working online.
The full detailed roadmap is available to view here.
Next to speak is Prof. Chris Whitty when viewing the slides. He says "the rates are still very high", but are continuing to fall. Provided in the graphs below.
Whitty goes into further detail with the slides underneath by telling us to expect a decline in deaths as we reach the middle group as those are the ones now being vaccinated. Provided in the graphs below.
Three studies were released today that address the protection offered by the coronavirus vaccines after a period of days. Chris Whitty says "the effectiveness of this vaccine in older people in reducing hospitalisation is greater than 75%" based off the data, but the exact number will change with new data.
"We must make sure those who had their first vaccine go on to get their second" adds the Chief Medical Officer.
Questions are asked with Rachel from London inquiring about whether the UK will commit to assisting in a global vaccine rollout. Boris Johnson responds declaring "it's a global pandemic, we need a global vaccination programme."
Pippa from the Mirror asks will it be possible to see an end of social distancing this summer. The Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir. Patrick Vallance answers by saying certain measures will last until Winter if necessary.
All the appropriate advice should still be followed even if not enforced adds Vallance.
To read the key points from previous government coronavirus conferences click here