- Government publishes four-step roadmap to ease restrictions across England and provide a route back to a more normal way of life in Burnley and Padiham.
- Each step to be assessed against four tests before restrictions ease, starting with the return of local schools on 8 March
- PM is clear that the decision on each stage will be based on data not dates, and government will move cautiously to keep infection rates under control
The Prime Minister has announced the roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions across England, with a new four-step plan setting out how restrictions in Burnley and Padiham can be eased.
In a statement to parliament the PM paid tribute to the extraordinary success of the UK’s vaccination programme and the resolve of the British public in following the lockdown restrictions, which has helped to cut infection rates and reduce the spread of the virus.
He also set out the latest vaccine efficacy data, with Public Health England finding that one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduces hospitalisations and deaths by at least 75%. Analysis of the AstraZeneca vaccine efficacy continues, with promising early results.
Supported by the increased protection offered by these vaccines, the government is able to slowly and cautiously begin to ease restrictions in all areas across England at the same time, guided at all stages by data, not dates.
Commenting on the news local MP Antony Higginbotham said:
The last 12 months have been incredibly difficult for all of us but with the vaccine roll-out we've seen hope appear on the horizon. The plan outlined by the Prime Minister now provides a clear route out of the restrictions that have been necessary to manage through the pandemic up until this point. And this will give certainty to businesses right across Burnley and Padiham, setting key dates to plan for.
We need to remain vigilant in the coming months, as restrictions are eased off but there is an end in sight and I'll be working with the Chancellor and whole Government on creating a strong local recovery that helps us build back better from Covid-19.
The roadmap, which has now been published on gov.uk, outlines four steps for easing restrictions which you can find here.
Before proceeding to the next step, the Government will examine the data to assess the impact of previous steps.
This assessment will be based on four tests:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
- Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
There is to be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the data to reflect changes in restrictions; followed by seven days’ notice of the restrictions to be eased.
The Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser have made clear that this will give adequate time to assess the impact of each step and reduce the risk of having to re-impose restrictions at a later date.