This is a significant milestone in the battle as Boris Johnson’s roadmap signposts school reopening on Monday, March 8 followed by outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households from March 29. Almost 21.8 million adults in the UK have now had at least one dose of the Covid-19 jab.
In England, the figure is around 18 million – meaning one-in-three adults have crossed the first hurdle of the vaccination process.
The Government has sent out 850,000 letters to the 56-59 age group, ahead of a further 850,000 being posted on Monday.
Nine out 10 people aged 65 or over in England have been given a vaccine, NHS data suggests.
Shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality are signposted for reopening on April 12, while two households may be able to mix in homes from May 17.
The May date could also see the introduction of ‘rule of six’ regulations in pubs if promising data about the virus and transmission rates remains at a manageable level.
Letters started being delivered to the age 56-59 age range as of Saturday – after 80 percent of those aged 65 to 69 confirmed they would like to receive the jab.
From May 17, two households may be able to mix in homes, according to the Government roadmap, while rule of six regulations could be introduced in pubs.
The Prime Minister told MPs the plan aimed to be “cautious but irreversible” while introducing a new buzz phrase: “data not dates”.
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It is the point at which the Government plans to lift all restrictions on social contact, with the reopening of the whole nation’s economy.
Covid-19 rapid tests are now available to all businesses in England which will determine many unknown asymptomatic cases.
The lateral flow tests are free until June 30.