LIVE updates: as Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds Downing Street press conference
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to lead a Downing Street press conference at 5pm today, Monday, March 29 as lockdown restrictions are eased across England.
Boris Johnson is to be joined at the 5pm press conference by chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.
Restrictions in England have been relaxed from today, Monday, March 29 to allow groups to meet up and socialise outside.
Groups of up to six people from any number of households or a group of any size from up to two households are now allowed to gather in parks and gardens with social distancing.
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts will also reopen and the Government’s “stay at home” order will end, with messaging moving to “stay local.”
Downing Street said that the road map to easing coronavirus restrictions remains “on track” with the Government keeping the “relevant data and scientific evidence under review” ahead of the next step.
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Live coronavirus updates on Monday, March 29
Last updated: Monday, 29 March, 2021, 19:06
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to address the nation at 5pm.
- Coronavirus restrictions have been eased across England
- Downing Street said that the road map to easing coronavirus restrictions remains “on track"
30 million adults have been vaccinated in the UK
Boris Johnson said a total of 30 million adults across the UK have received their first vaccine.
He said that many people in the UK will be receiving this second vaccine in April.
Adding: “Please take up your appointment and at the same time we will push forward with vaccinating all adults by the end of July.”
The Prime Minister says he knows much much today has meant to people
Boris Johnson says he knows how much it would have meant to millions of people to join someone in the garden for a cup of tea.
But added we must remain cautious.
The UK records the lowest number of new infections for six months
Boris Johnson said: “Deaths and hospital admissions across the UK are continuing to fall but that wave is still rising across the Channel.
“It’s inevitable as we advance on this roadmap there will be more infections, more hospitalisations and more deaths.
We must continue “flat-out” to build our immunity and “it’s more vital than ever that we protect the most vulnerable.”
North East to host UK-made vaccines
Boris Johnson says alongside the vaccine rollout, the UK is “building up our own long-term UK manufacturing capabilities” for vaccines.
He said that Novavax is going to make a jab at Fujifilm, based in Stockton-on-Tees.
GlaxoSmithKline will also finish and bottle vaccines in the North East, which will provide between 50 and 60 million UK-made vaccines.
Boris Johnson says new freedoms were the result of the sacrifices made over recent months
Boris Johnson has said the new freedoms being enjoyed in England as lockdown eases were the result of the sacrifices made over recent months but warned it was “inevitable” there were more deaths to come.
He said it has been a “big day for many of us” with the first chance to see friends and family outdoors since the lockdown was imposed.
“It’s only because of months of sacrifice and effort that we can take this small step towards freedom today and we must proceed with caution,” he said.
“It’s great to see that yesterday we recorded the lowest number of new infections for six months, deaths and hospital admissions across the UK are continuing to fall.
“That wave is still rising across the channel and it’s inevitable, as we advance on this road map, that there will be more infections and unavoidably more hospitalisations, and sadly more deaths.”
England’s chief medical officer says that those most likely to catch and transmit Covid-19 are those in the “younger, unvaccinated group”
Professor Chris Whitty said: “The majority of transmission is in younger age groups who have not yet been vaccinated, unless people have got pre-existing health conditions, or they are a health or social care worker, or care for someone who is vulnerable,”
“We therefore anticipate that as there is gradual unlocking in the way the Prime Minister has described, it is inevitable that there will be some increase in the number of cases.
“Because the people who are most likely to catch and transmit Covid are in that younger, unvaccinated group.
“So, the vaccination has had a really big impact on helping to protect against people dying from Covid, although it is not a complete protection, but it will have less impact on transmission because of this age distribution.”
Boris Johnson has said there is no need for people to worry about a shortage of the Pfizer vaccine for a second dosage
He said: “There isn’t any need to worry about shortage of Pfizer for the second dose as far as we can see at the moment.
“We’re going to continue to roll that out and supply that, and, as I said, April is going to be the second dose month.
“It’s very important that everybody gets their second dose.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he believed the public understood the need for “caution” when easing lockdown
He said: “I know how much Government has asked of the people in the last year, but I also know how magnificently – incredible patience and fortitude – people have responded,”
“It’s my view, overwhelmingly, people are determined to continue to do that and they do understand the need for caution.
“I think overwhelmingly people understand that when it comes to this road map, the better we stick to it, the more cautious we are, the better the chance we have of making sure that it is indeed irreversible and we’re able to go forward in the way that we want.”
Boris Johnson has defended the police’s work in enforcing coronavirus regulations
“The police have done an absolutely outstanding job throughout this pandemic,” he told a Downing Street news conference.
“I think they have handed out about 70,000 fines at least for various breaches of one kind or another.
“I make no apology for that.
“They will continue to do their best but it depends – more than it depends on the police, it depends on general public understanding of what we have all got to do.”