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Lockdown is only likely to be lifted once the number of daily coronavirus figures drop below 1,000, according to reports.
The Telegraph writes that restrictions are unlikely to be eased until the numbers are in the hundreds, not the 10,000 a day Covid cases we are seeing now.
Boris Johnson is set to publish a roadmap out of lockdown next week, after rules are debated this weekend.
It's believed schools will reopen from March 8 as part of the plans.
However, a clear timetable to the end of Covid restrictions is unlikely to be in place for the coming months, instead, promising a series of reviews along the way.
The reviews could see shops, pubs and restaurants not open until Covid cases reach a low not seen since last August.
The number of people contracting coronavirus has dropped significantly in recent weeks and could reach less than 1,000 a day by early April, if the decline continues.
Although, it's likely to be delayed by the impact of the return of students heading back into the classroom.
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A senior Whitehall source said: "For any significant relaxation of lockdown, household mixing and reopening pubs, case numbers have to be in the hundreds, not thousands.
"The numbers are coming down quite fast, but the plan is likely to be high level and set out the tests that have to be met for restrictions to be released. There is real reluctance about committing to specific dates without knowing what the case numbers are doing."
When the Prime Minister plunged the UK into a third national lockdown on January 4, he said the restrictions would ease when three factors were met.
These included the success of the vaccination programme, the fall in deaths and the capacity of the NHS on the frontline.
However, ministers have repeatedly highlighted the need for case numbers to fall significantly before lockdown is lifted in recent weeks, but have not called for a specific threshold.
On Tuesday, vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahwai, declined to say how low infections need to be in order to life the lockdown.
He told Sky News: "The Prime Minister is right to say that where we are today in terms of number of people in hospital, in terms of case numbers per day, is still far too high, and we want to make sure we bring that right down. But I wouldn't want to speculate on this until we see more data."
- Boris Johnson
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