Boris Johnson to lead Covid press conference after lowest daily deaths since October

Boris Johnson 'hopeful' for success of lockdown roadmap

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The Prime Minister will update the nation on the latest in the fight against the virus at 4pm this afternoon. It comes on the first day of the easing of lockdown, with millions of children returning to classrooms this morning.

In a huge boost for the Government’s roadmap back to normality, yesterday the UK hit a major milestone in its fight against the virus.

Less than 100 deaths in a 24 hours period were recorded for the first time since October.

In figures released last night, a further 82 fatalities were confirmed, with deaths plunging 34.8 percent in a week.

Over the past week, the number of new infections has dropped by 31.3 percent with 5,177 cases recorded yesterday.

There were also 707 new hospital admissions, the lowest level in a number of months.

The figures represented a boost for Mr Johnson’s exit plan ahead of children returning to schools today.

Visits to care homes – under strictly controlled conditions – are also resuming.

And the rules around meeting another household have been loosened to allow people to leave home to meet one other person outdoors for a coffee or picnic.

Ahead of the return of all pupils to schools, Mr Johnson praised children, parents and teachers for their efforts since the start of the year.

He said: “I want to thank teachers, parents, guardians and carers for the work you have done to keep kids learning throughout the pandemic.

“Getting all schools back has been our priority and the first step of our roadmap back to normality.”

The Prime Minister added that although today represented “only a small relaxation of the rules”, the changes will bring “joy and relief” to families after months of “tough restrictions”.

Ministers believe the downward trends in deaths will speed up as the rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations continues.

There is already evidence the immunisation programme is starting to break the link between case numbers and hospital admissions and deaths as more and more people are protected from the disease.

So far more than 22 million Brits have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Letters to those between the ages of 56 and 59 have been sent out today to invite them to get a jab.

The UK looks set to hit its target of giving a first vaccine to all over-50s by April 15 early with estimates suggesting the target could be hit in just three weeks time.

More to follow…

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