The prime minister has outlined three things which need to happen in order the coronavirus lockdown to start to ease.

Boris Johnson told a Downing Street press conference today that the Government must be confident the new vaccine programme is working and that there are no changes which affect calculations, such as a new variation in the virus.

He also said the rate of infection needs to be ‘not still so high’.

It comes as the PM revealed the mutant UK variant of Covid-19 is more deadly than the original strain of the virus.

‘We’ve been informed today that in addition to spreading more quickly, it also now appears that there is some evidence that the new variant – that was first identified in London and the south east – may be associated with a higher degree of mortality,’ he said.



‘It is largely the impact of this new variant that means the NHS is under such intense pressure with another 40,261 positive cases since yesterday, we have 38,562 Covid patients now in hospital – that’s 78% higher than the first peak in April.’

Another 1,401 people were reported to have died with the virus today.

Both Mr Johnson and his scientific advisors – Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance – agreed that a lot more still needs to happen for the Government to consider lifting lockdown.

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