Boris Johnson urges people not to mix indoors over Easter weekend as R rate increases
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The Prime Minister warned that vaccines do not guarantee “100% protection” from coronavirus as he reminded people that socialising indoors remains banned to limit the spread of the virus.
The stay-at-home order ended in England earlier this week, meaning that groups of up to six, or two households, are now able to meet up in parks and gardens.
But as millions plan to see friends and family over the bank holiday weekend, latest Government figures show that there has been a rise in the coronavirus reproduction number, or R value, in England.
The number is now between 0.8 and 1 – compared to a figure of between 0.7 and 0.9 for the whole of the UK last week.
During a Twitter question and answer session, Mr Johnson warned that the country was not yet at the stage of allowing people to meet indoors even if they are vaccinated.
He said: “I’m afraid the answer is no, because we’re not yet at that stage.
“We’re still very much in a world where you can meet friends and family outdoors under the rule of six or two households.
“And even though your friends and family members may be vaccinated, the vaccines are not giving 100% protection, and that’s why we just need to be cautious.
“We don’t think that they entirely reduce or remove the risk of transmission.”
The earliest date that families and friends could be reunited inside their homes under the Government’s road map is May 17, with the rule of six or two households then set to apply indoors.
But the vaccine roll out is continuing at pace, with more than 31 million in the UK having now received a first coronavirus vaccine dose. The Government aims to offer a jab to all adults by July.
AstraZeneca has said its vaccine has 76% efficacy against symptomatic Covid-19 and is 100% effective against severe or critical disease and hospital admission due to coronavirus.
It also has 85% efficacy against symptomatic Covid-19 in patients aged 65 years and over, the British-Swedish firm said.