roadmap out of lockdown jenny harries

Roadmap out of lockdown: Deputy Chief Medical Officer issues warning over hugging grannies

Statement from Downing Street today

The roadmap out of lockdown is finally here, but the Government is warning Brits to continue being careful – particularly when it comes to grandparents.

Speaking at Downing Street on Wednesday (February 24) afternoon, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries warned viewers to be cautious when it comes to hugging.

Jenny Harries
Jenny Harries speaking at Downing Street on Wednesday (Credit: Downing Street/ YouTube)

Hug warning in roadmap out of lockdown

She said at the press conference: “I would encourage children not to go off yet… Even if their grandparents have had their vaccinations, not to go hugging them too much until we’re absolutely sure what the impact of that vaccine rollout has been.

“We just need to take a steady course.”

Read more: June 21 to become bank holiday? Brits want to celebrate end of lockdown

Speaking further, Dr Harries assured viewers she was sure the vaccine rollout would reduce the transmission of coronavirus.

But she pointed out that evidence over its efficacy is still in its early stages.

The Government has warned Brits not to allow kids to hug grandparents too much (Credit: Pexels)

‘Natural’ to want to hug relatives

However, Dr Harries said she knew it was “absolutely natural” for everyone to want to be close to loved ones again after being apart for months.

As of February 24, more than 18.2 million people in the UK had received the first dose of the vaccine.

Until we’re absolutely sure what the impact of that vaccine rollout has been… we just need to take a steady course.

Elsewhere at today’s press conference, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s commitment to the current plan for ending lockdown, insisting it’s the right one.

There have been suggestions that the lockdown could ease sooner, including from epidemiologist Prof. Neil Ferguson.

Gavin Williamson was also at today’s press conference (Credit: Paul Davey / FameFlynet UK /

Gavin Williamson backs current roadmap

But at Downing Street, Gavin Williamson confirmed there were “no plans” to be “moving ahead” of the current schedule.

It follows calls for June 21 – the Government’s target date to have lifted all restrictions – to become a Bank Holiday.

Read more: Government to fund summer schools as part of £700m COVID catch-up plan

PM Boris Johnson revealed the date in his four-step roadmap out of lockdown earlier this week.

And with the end of social restrictions hopefully in sight, there have been calls for June 21 to be made a national Bank Holiday.


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