Politics

Lockdown rules to ease in March but there won’t be a ‘Big Bang’ return to normal life, says Dominic Raab


LOCKDOWN regulations will finally be eased in March — but the return to ­normal life will not come with a “Big Bang”, Dominic Raab said yesterday.

In a boost to pandemic-weary Brits, the ­Foreign Secretary said rules can be loosened in early spring if we hit vaccination targets.

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Lockdown regulations will finally be eased in March — but the return to ­normal life will not come with a “Big Bang”, Dominic Raab said yesterday

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Lockdown regulations will finally be eased in March — but the return to ­normal life will not come with a “Big Bang”, Dominic Raab said yesterdayCredit: Alamy Live News

But he warned lockdown would be “phased out”, involving a return to a strict tier system.

Boris Johnson has said reopening schools is his number-one priority when the time comes.

And Mr Raab said the vaccination programme is the key to relaxing restrictions.

He said: “The aim is by the middle of ­February, to have 88 per cent of those most at risk of dying with their first jab and — by the early spring — to have 99 per cent. That’s the milestones.

“When we get to a situation in the early spring, perhaps March, if we succeed in hitting those targets — and we’ve made good progress so far — we can start to think about the phased transition out of national lockdown.”

He added: “It’s fair to say it won’t be a Big Bang.”

Instead the country is set to head “back through the tiered approach” adopted by the Prime Minister before the current lockdown, he said.

The positive news should go some way to staving off Mr Johnson’s restless backbenchers, some of whom are demanding a roadmap out of lockdown be published this week.

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The country will  head 'back through the tiered approach' adopted by Boris Johnson before the current lockdown

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The country will head ‘back through the tiered approach’ adopted by Boris Johnson before the current lockdown Credit: Reuters
Mark Harper said: 'Businesses need a plan in order to survive. There cannot be any more excuses and there’s no need to wait until Easter'

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Mark Harper said: ‘Businesses need a plan in order to survive. There cannot be any more excuses and there’s no need to wait until Easter’Credit: EPA
Pubs could be back in business once the  lockdown measures are eased

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Pubs could be back in business once the lockdown measures are easedCredit: Reuters

Chairman of the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group of Tory MPs, Mark Harper, said businesses and families desperately need to know when the most draconian measures might be lifted.

He said: “Businesses need a plan in order to survive. There cannot be any more excuses and there’s no need to wait until Easter.

“We need a clear roadmap to all our freedoms, economy and health prospects being fully restored.”

Raab says Covid quarantine hotels for all UK arrivals to stop new coronavirus strains spreading is ‘a challenge’

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