COVID-19: Roadmap on track – PM approves further easing of lockdown restrictions

Boris Johnson has confirmed England will progress to the next stage of lockdown lifting as he said the roadmap was on track.

The government also announced it will press ahead with developing controversial coronavirus passports, pointing out certification was “likely to become a feature of our lives until the threat from the pandemic recedes”.

While the prime minister said he was hopeful over the lifting of the ban on foreign holidays from 17 May, the government said it was too soon to say, highlighting “the state of the pandemic abroad, and the progress of vaccination programmes in other countries”, and advised people not to book summer breaks abroad “until the picture is clearer”.

A further easing of restrictions comes after the four official tests – a successful vaccine deployment programme, coronavirus hospitalisation and death rates under control, infections not putting pressure on the NHS, and the risk assessment not changed by variants – were met.

Speaking at a Downing Street COVID news briefing, Mr Johnson said: “We see nothing in our present data that makes us think that we’ll have to deviate from the roadmap.”