Nicola Sturgeon confirms phased schools return as 1.7 million more people told to shield

Published: 16 February 2021, 5:31 PM

Post Desk : Boris Johnson’s ultra-cautious new tone on Covid-19 suggests he will keep many restrictions in place for longer, despite the Prime Minister saying he was “hopeful” that the lockdown could be eased “in weeks”, experts have said.

One scientist said it appeared that ministers “have really been listening to advice” from Sage experts after Mr Johnson said he wanted to see “really low” case numbers before curbs were lifted.

The Prime Minister will publish his “road map” next week after analysing data on case numbers, hospital admissions, deaths and the impact of the vaccine rollout. Of the 315 local areas in England, 303 (96 per cent) have seen a fall in cases.

On Tuesday the Department of Health announced that an extra 1.7 million people will be told to shield themselves to protect against the coronavirus. It follows the development of a new tool that predicts who is at greater risk of serious disease or death.

Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that some school pupils in Scotland will return to the classroom next week — but warned the public not to see the step as an end to lockdown.