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Ministers reject demands to end lockdown by May Published Date: 16/02/2021

Downing Street is reportedly resisting pressure from Conservative MPs to set out a swift timetable to end the lockdown in England.

The Government has been facing pressure from Conservative backbench MPs to set a swift timetable to end the lockdown in England after meeting its first major vaccination target. The pressure from the backbench MPs would be welcomed by many licensed businesses severely affected by the lockdown.

However, Downing Street is resisting the call it has been reported which is “a sign of the likely battle ahead in the coming weeks”.

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary told Sky News: “We’re not making what feels to me a slightly arbitrary commitment without reviewing the impact the measures have had on the transmission, and the hospital admissions.”

Mark Harper, the Tory former chief whip who chairs the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) said however that once these groups [clinically extrememly vulnerable] had received a vaccine, it would cover 99% of people at risk of death from Covid, and 80% of those liable to be hospitalised by it.

“It’s not arbitrary at all,” Harper told the BBC about the proposed May deadline. “It’s completely tied to the rollout of the vaccination programme, and the fact you’re then protecting the most vulnerable people from death and serious disease from Covid.”