England’s third lockdown will be reviewed in the week commencing 15 February however politicians and scientists have signalled restrictions could continue into the spring.
The expiration date of existing coronavirus legislation has been amended to 31 March 2021.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was questioned by the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers on a video call last night about this expiration date and reportedly committed to the mid-February review.
He told MPs he hoped lockdown would be lifted “before the end of the daffodil season”, according to The Sun newspaper’s Westminster correspondent Kate Ferguson.
Boris Johnson told MPs at the 1922 tonight that he hopes to ease lockdown by spring “before the end of the tulip season, before the end of the daffodil season even”— Kate Ferguson (@kateferguson4) January 5, 2021
His words come as the pub sector has called for further support to sustain businesses through the tough winter and protect jobs.
What’s more, the Government’s chief medical adviser Chris Whitty said some restrictions could have to be introduced again next winter, at Downing Street press conference.
He said the country was facing a "really serious emergency", as figures suggested one in 50 people in private households in England had the virus last week. This estimation rose to one in 30 in London.
Cabinet Office minister Micheal Gove told Sky News yesterday (Tuesday 5 January) tough restrictions were likely to remain in force until the spring.
He said: “We can’t predict with certainty that we’ll be able to lift restrictions the week commencing the 15 to 22 [February], what we will be doing is everything we can to make sure that as many people as possible are vaccinated so that we can begin progressively to lift restrictions.
“I think it’s right to say that, as we enter March, we should be able to lift some of these restrictions – but not necessarily all.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an additional one-off grant for hospitality businesses forced to close, however some operators have said this is still enough to make up for the hit of lost income.