Lockdown Set To Be Lifted In March But Tiers Will Return, Dominic Raab Says
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab says he is hopeful the national lockdown will be lifted in March, but suggested the country will remain in a tier system afterwards.
In an interview earlier today, January 16, the cabinet minister said the government would not be lifting restrictions in ‘one big bang’.
‘Of course, what we want to do is get out of this national lockdown as soon as possible. The road map that I’ve described means that by early spring, hopefully by March, we’ll be in a position to make those decisions,’ he said.
Speaking to Sky News, he said the government will seek to ‘phase’ the country out of lockdown through the tiered approach that was introduced in the later months of 2020.
‘We want to make sure that we can do it in a safe and responsible way but again, at this point in time, we’ve got to really focus on protecting the NHS, rolling out the vaccines. If we do those two things, we get into a much better place by early spring,’ he said.
Raab also commented on reports from The Sunday Times that the UK government is considering the introduction of a managed isolation system for people arriving in the UK.
Earlier this week, the government announced that all travel corridors will be suspended from Monday, January 18, to prevent the spread of new coronavirus variants into the UK.
When asked whether people arriving in the UK may be required to quarantine in allocated hotels, Raab said: ‘We’ve considered all of the possibilities.’
Describing the suspension of travel corridors as a ‘precautionary measure’, he said the government was working on ‘beefing up’ checks at the airport and the enforcement of international travel restrictions.
Raab was also quizzed on whether everyone who has had their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine will be able to get their second dose within the allocated time of 12 weeks.
Despite being pressed a number of times, the minister did not answer the question directly. He said: ‘We absolutely are aiming for that. We ought to be able to deliver on that, we’re quietly confident.’
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