Coronavirus UK news – Lockdown rules update TODAY with Boris holding covid press conference at 5pm as Rule of 6 returns

BORIS Johnson will hold a press conference today at 5pm to mark coronavirus restrictions easing from his new £2.7million studio.

The PM will speak to the nation when his lockdown roadmap comes into play – giving millions of Brits extra freedoms on March 29.

The Sun revealed last month that the PM spent £2.7million of taxpayers’ cash on the White House-style TV studio.

A Number 10 spokesperson said: "Work on the briefing room in number nine Downing Street has now completed.

"So going forward, all future Coronavirus press conferences, will take place in No9 Downing Street.

It comes as more than thirty million Brits have now received the coronavirus vaccine – just over three months after the first jab was given out. 

The incredible milestone comes as the government confirmed the rollout of the Moderna vaccine would see under-50s immunised in April. 

More than 30,151,287 Brits have now received at least their first dose following the weekend's vaccination efforts.

And 201,335 have received their second dose, taking the total to 3,527,481.

It comes just over fifteen weeks after 91-year-old Margaret Keenan made history by being the first Brit to receive the jab on December 8.

Follow our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news and updates on the pandemic

  • John Hall

    PRESS CONFERENCE 5PM TODAY

    Boris Johnson will hold a press conference today at 5pm to mark coronavirus restrictions easing from his new £2.7million studio.

    The PM will speak to the nation when his lockdown roadmap comes into play – giving millions of Brits extra freedoms on March 29.

    The Sun revealed last month that the PM spent £2.7million of taxpayers’ cash on the White House-style TV studio.

    A Number 10 spokesperson said: "Work on the briefing room in number nine Downing Street has now completed.

    "So going forward, all future Coronavirus press conferences, will take place in No9 Downing Street.

  • John Hall

    SWIMMERS MAKE THE MOST OF NEW RULES TODAY

    Swimmers made a splash in lidos this morning after Coronavirus restrictions lifted today.

    Some wild swimmers were seen taking a dip in the Serpentine Lido in the first day of outdoor sport reopening.

    A No 10 source said: “Today marks the first real freedom for so many people who haven’t seen their loved ones for months.”

    Boris wants to kick off “a Great British summer of sport” — urging the public to get outdoors and take in vitamin D to boost immune systems against Covid.

    Wellness expert Joshua Charles said everyone will benefit from a surge of endorphins today. He added: “This is going to refresh the nation and renew our love for fitness.

  • John Hall

    SOHO RESIDENTS WORRY ABOUT NOISE

    Furious Soho residents have said they’ll have to move out due to the noise from revellers eating and drinking outside as Covid-19 lockdown is eased.

    Westminster City Council is allowing pubs and restaurants to open tables on the pavement to cope with coronavirus regulations.

    It says the al fresco scheme is a lifeline for the hospitality industry, with diners having to sit outside from April 12.

    The trendy central London neighbourhood has swathes of bars, eateries and clubs and is popular with tourists visiting the capital’s West End.

    However, furious residents say the council has failed to consult them, and the noise from outdoor eating could drive them out of the area.

    The Soho Society – an influential community group – has held a survey of locals who have blasted the council for its handling of the situation.

  • John Hall

    SPORTS TEAMS TO RESUME

    Friends and families will be reunited and team sports will resume in a major easing of England's coronavirus lockdown to allow far greater freedom outdoors.

    Groups of up to six, or two households, can socialise in parks and gardens once more, while outdoor sports facilities can reopen after the stay-at-home order ended on Monday.

    Among the first to re-open its doors was the Morley Hayes Golf Club, near Derby, with players teeing off at 12.01am on Monday for a seven-hole floodlit charity tournament.

    Boris Johnson stressed that "we must remain cautious, with cases rising across Europe and new variants threatening our vaccine rollout", while warm weather was excepted to accompany the relaxation.

    "Despite today's easements, everyone must continue to stick to the rules, remember hands, face, space, and come forward for a vaccine when called," the Prime Minister added

  • John Hall

    CHANGES FROM TODAY:

    Sports

    Outdoor team sports and activities, such as tennis and golf, also return from today, with people able to head to their local sports clubs again.

    Tennis and basketball courts will be allowed to reopen, along with open-air swimming pools.

    And in good news for sports, Brits will again be able to start taking part in formally organised outdoor sports events like amateur football leagues.

    But indoor facilities like gyms won't be open until at least April 12.

  • John Hall

    NO LIMIT ON TRAVEL WITHIN THE UK

    MP Nigel Huddleston spoke about the changes to the lockdown rules on Good Morning Britain.

    When it comes to seeing relatives and friends outside, Mr Huddleston said: "There are no restrictions on travel, it would be unfair to put a cap of say 50 miles, what if you were 51 miles away from loved ones.

    "But we are relying on the general sense of the British public on this one.

    "You can go and visit loved ones, but not day after day after day, stopping off at petrol stations and shops there.

    "We want you to think carefully and plan ahead about the travel."

  • John Hall

    GERMANY LOOKS AT NEW COVID RESTRICTIONS

    Chancellor Angela Merkel has raised the possibility of introducing curfews to try to get a third coronavirus wave under control.

    “We have our emergency brake … unfortunately, it is not respected everywhere. I hope that there might be some reflection on this,” Merkel said in a rare appearance on broadcaster ARD’s Anne Will talk show.

    Merkel and regional leaders agreed in early March to halt a gradual reopening of the economy as soon as the number of infections per 100,000 people over seven days rose above 100.

    On Sunday, the incidence of the virus per 100,000 rose to 130 from 104 a week ago.

    The number of total confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 17,176 to 2,772,401, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 90 to 75,870, the tally showed.

    Merkel said: “We need to do more. We have the possibilities of restrictions on going out, further contact restrictions, further mask wearing … plus testing strategies in all places: so in schools twice a week, and through the economy”.

  • Warren Chrismas

  • John Hall

    OVER 30MILLION 1ST COVID JABS GIVEN

    As far as Covid jabs go, more than 423,852 people were vaccinated with their first dose in the latest 24 hour period.

    That brings the total people vaccinated with their first dose to over 30,151,287 in the UK.

    Meanwhile, more than 3,527,481 Brits have received both Covid jabs.

  • John Hall

    FREE COVID HOME TESTING KITS OFFERED

    Bosses will be able to offer free rapid Covid tests to staff to take at home as the government extends its workplace testing programme.

    Home test kits will be provided to firms with more than 10 employees where it is not possible to set up on-site testing, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said today.

    Some 60,000 businesses were said to have already registered for regular tests for key workers, but the scheme will be extended to home testing from April 6.

    Widespread testing is seen as a key measure to keep Covid-19 under control as the lockdown is eased in England, with the “stay home” order ending on Monday.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Rapid testing is a vital part of our road map, helping us to cautiously lift restrictions on our economy and society.”

  • John Hall

    ISLE BE BACK! LOVE ISLAND RETURNS

    Love Island will return to Majorca this summer after getting the Covid all-clear.

    There were fears the reality dating show would have to be filmed in the UK amid restrictions.

    Jersey, Cornwall and Devon were considered as locations for the ITV2 hit’s comeback.

    But delighted executives have approved plans that will see a return to the Spanish isle in June.

    And secret documents seen by The Sun show the extraordinary lengths being taken to make sure it goes ahead — including flying out a back-up cast.

  • John Hall

    HIDDEN COVID TOLL IN MEXICO REVEALED

    Mexico's government has acknowledged that the country's true death toll from the coronavirus pandemic now stands above 321,000, almost 60 per cent more than the official test-confirmed number of 201,429.

    Mexico does little testing, and because hospitals were overwhelmed, many Mexicans died at home without getting a test.

    The only way to get a clear picture is to review excess deaths and review death certificates.

    On Saturday, the government quietly published such a report, which found there were 294,287 deaths linked to Covid-19 from the start of the pandemic through February 14.

    Since February 15 there have been an additional 26,772 test-confirmed deaths.

  • John Hall

    INFECTIONS DOWN 62% IN CARE HOME RESIDENTS FIVE WEEKS AFTER FIRST JAB – STUDY

    Coronavirus infections in care home residents fell by 62% from five weeks after they received their first vaccine dose, Government-funded research has found.

    Residents in England who were infected after having the vaccine may also be less likely to transmit the virus, according to initial findings from the Vivaldi study.

    The study, led by researchers from University College London, examined data on 10,412 elderly care home residents from 310 care homes between December and mid-March.

    They looked at the number of infections confirmed with PCR tests within specific time periods after vaccination and compared this to the number of infections that occurred before vaccination.

    They calculated the risk of infection was 56% lower from four weeks after a single dose of either the Pfizer or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and 62% lower after five weeks.

  • John Hall

    OVER 30MILLION BRITS HAVE NOW HAD 1ST COVID JAB

    Thirty million Brits have now received their first coronavirus vaccine – just over three months after the first jab was given out.

    The incredible milestone comes as the government confirmed the rollout of the Moderna vaccine would see under-50s immunised in April.

    According to the latest figures, 423,852 people received their first shot yesterday, meaning 30,151,287 Brits have now received at least their first dose.

    And 201,335 have received their second dose, taking the total to 3,527,481.

  • John Hall

    WORRIED NHS BOSS WARNS BRITS NOT TO SQUANDER FURTHER STEP TOWARDS FREEDOM FROM MONDAY

    Brits must not “squander the gains” made against coronavirus as lockdown eases on Monday, the boss of the NHS has warned.

    Stephen Powis, the service's national medical director, hailed the public for making “enormous progress” against the virus – but said it “does not mean job done”.

    Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Prof Powis said: "One of the greatest threats we face is complacency.

    "This virus still has the capacity to wreak more havoc and ill health on a significant scale. Families, businesses and the health service all want the pressure, risk and life-limits of Covid-19 to be over as soon as possible.”

    He added: “We’ve made enormous progress that we need to build on and not squander the gains we’ve made. We need to hold our nerve and drive for the line, so everyone can get back safely and soon to our normal lives."

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