he UK recorded 215 coronavirus-related deaths and 9,834 new cases on Sunday as infections continue to plummet.

This is a considerable drop from the peak of 1,820 deaths on January 1st.

It comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that Boris Johnson will set out a “cautious” plan to relax coronavirus restrictions when he unveils his road map out of lockdown.

The Prime Minister will outline his blueprint for easing the stringent measures in England to Parliament on Monday, amid a clamour of warnings from scientists to act gradually and calls from some Tory MPs to lift all legal restrictions by May.

Matt Hancock insisted that, despite the success of the vaccine rollout so far, and the “understandable” urge to return to normal life, the Government’s goal is to take a “cautious but irreversible approach”.

In a series of broadcast interviews on Sunday morning, he said there will be “weeks between the steps” so ministers can “watch carefully” the impact of each relaxation of the restrictions.

Mr Hancock said that one in three adults in the UK has now received a coronavirus vaccine, and that the Government is confident it has the supplies to meet the July 31 target and to vaccinate all adults over 50, and higher risk groups, by April 15.

He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “The vaccination programme, whilst clearly going very well, will take time to be able to reach all people who have significant vulnerability, especially because we need to get the second jab to everybody.

“We’ve got time that needs to be taken to get this right. The Prime Minister will set out the road map tomorrow and he will set out the full details – taking into account that we need to take a cautious but irreversible approach, that’s the goal.”

Leading epidemiologist Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said any easing of the lockdown must be gradual to prevent a surge in hospital admissions and deaths.


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