PRIME Minister Boris Johnson will reveal today how and when the UK will 'cautiously' ease out of Covid-19 restrictions.

The lockdown exit strategy will contain four tests for easing the measures, with the Government set to examine the data at each stage before unlocking further.

The Northern Echo:

Ministers will assess the success of the vaccine rollout, evidence of vaccine efficacy, new variants and infection rates before proceeding to the next step.

The first relaxation in lockdown restrictions will take place on March 8 – when schools are widely expected to return.

It is also expected that families from two different households will be permitted to meet outdoors by next month, meaning people can gather in gardens and parks.

At the same time care home residents will be allowed one visitor, who will be allowed to hold their hands.

The timings of today's announcements are expected as follows:

  • The full Government Cabinet will meet this morning to sign off the final version of the plan to relax national lockdown restrictions.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson will deliver a statement to Parliament later this afternoon which is expected to be around 3pm.
  • Mr Johson will then reiterate what he told Parliament and answer questions during a televised press conference at Downing Street at 7pm.

The Northern Echo:

Mr Johnson said: “Today I’ll be setting out a road map to bring us out of lockdown cautiously.

“Our priority has always been getting children back into school which we know is crucial for their education as well as their mental and physical wellbeing, and we will also be prioritising ways for people to reunite with loved ones safely.

“Our decisions will be made on the latest data at every step, and we will be cautious about this approach so that we do not undo the progress we have achieved so far and the sacrifices each and every one of you has made to keep yourself and others safe."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has insisted that, despite the success of the vaccine rollout so far, and the “understandable” urge to return to normal life, the Government’s goal is to take a “cautious but irreversible approach”.