Scientists and MPs have waded in on the lockdown end date debate.
England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty revealed yesterday (February 3) that the country was past the peak of the current wave of coronavirus.
However, MPs and scientists have now revealed their worries and revealed when they think lockdown should end.
Lockdown end date: What’s the latest news?
Ministers and science have apparently suggested that all over-50s should have the COVID-19 vaccine before a “significant” easing of the rules.
Pressure is growing on the PM to relax measures within weeks, when 10 millions Brits have been vaccinated against the virus.
However, the threat of new mutant strains have added to concerns that the NHS could again come close to being overwhelmed.
Once the most vulnerable people, particularly those over 50 and those with chronic illnesses, are vaccinated then yes I think we can see a significant return to normality.
As such, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi appeared to indicate this morning that the government is looking at vaccinating the top nine risk categories before opening up the country.
This would mean 32 million people need to get the jab before lockdown eases.
What has Boris Johnson said about the lockdown end date?
So far, Boris has only said that he will unveil his roadmap out of lockdown on February 22.
This will come after the four most vulnerable groups are vaccinated.
Zahawi refused to give a date for when the top nine groups would be vaccinated.
What has SAGE said about the over-50s?
SAGE member Professor Andrew Hayward seemed to agree with the vaccine minister.
He said there could be a “significant return to normality” once the over-50s are vaccinated.
He added that he hoped we would be “more or less back to normal for the summer”.
Professor Hayward said: “Once the most vulnerable people, particularly those over 50 and those with chronic illnesses, are vaccinated then yes I think we can see a significant return to normality.”
It comes as chancellor Rishi Sunak is said to be leading the charge to ease lockdown sooner rather than later.
A source told the Telegraph: “Rishi is concerned that the scientists have been moving the goalposts in recent weeks.
“It’s no longer just about hospitalisations and protecting the NHS but cases and case numbers.”
Sunak is also thought to believe that, after lockdown 3.0, the government should draw a line under them for good.
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