UK PM to lay out "road map" out of COVID-19 lockdown on Feb. 22
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to lay out a "road map" out of the COVID-19 lockdown in 10 days' time, a British minister told Sky News on Friday.
British Home Office minister Victoria Atkins said Johnson would tell lawmakers in the House of Commons, lower house of the British parliament, on Feb. 22 how the restrictions will start to be eased.
She stopped short of confirming schools will definitely re-open on March 8, though she made clear this is the aim but it is dependent on data on COVID-19 cases and vaccinations.
"On Feb. 22, the prime minister will make a statement to the House of Commons where he will set out our road map to ease lockdown," she told Sky News.
She emphasized that next week would be "critical" as scientists and ministers gather all of the data on the pandemic in Britain, as well as getting information from aboard including on vaccination programs.
Her statement came as the number of coronavirus cases confirmed in Britain rose to nearly four million. On Thursday, another 13,494 cases were recorded, bringing the country's total since the outbreak began to 3,998,655.
Meanwhile, the hotel quarantine scheme is under fire after travelers were unable to book rooms on its website. Those returning to England from 33 nations will be required to spend 10 days in a government-designated hotel from Monday next week, according to the London-based Evening Standard newspaper.
The prime minister has come under pressure from his Conservative Party lawmakers in recent days to commit to a timetable for easing lockdown measures, despite warnings from scientists about the dangers, the newspaper said.
The British government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) scientists have said it was not sensible to set out a road map at all at the moment.
England is currently under the third national lockdown since outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.