The UK government hopes it will be able to consider easing anti-coronavirus restrictions by March, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has said. The lockdown will not be lifted “in one big bang,” however, but will be eased gradually.
“What we want to do is get out of this national lockdown as soon as possible,” Raab told Sky News on Sunday.
By early spring, hopefully by March, we’ll be in a position to make those decisions. I think it’s right to say we won’t do it all in one big bang. As we phase out the national lockdown, I think we’ll end up phasing through a tiered approach.
The UK went into a deeper, nationwide lockdown on January 5, shutting down most non-essential businesses and schools, as well as promoting a working-from-home approach. Britain is also set to close all of its remaining international travel corridors from Monday until at least February 15, in an attempt to stop new coronavirus variants coming from abroad. Multiple nations have recently halted travel to the UK due to a new, more contagious strain of the virus detected there.
The country is among the worst coronavirus-affected nations in the world with more than 3.3 million cases registered. It also has the highest Covid-19 death toll in Europe, hovering just below the 90,000 mark.