COVID-19: Raab says No 10 will not be held to 'arbitrary target' for lifting lockdown after calls to end all restrictions by end of April

·1-min read

The government will not be setting an "arbitrary target" for when lockdown can end despite pressure from some MPs to lift all restrictions by the end of April, the foreign secretary has told Sky News.

Dominic Raab said the plan was to "ease the lockdown" with the return of schools, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously said will happen on 8 March at the "earliest".

More than 60 Conservative backbenchers are said to have backed a letter from the lockdown-sceptic COVID Recovery Group which said there will be "no justification" for restrictions to remain once all over-50s have been offered a jab.

But Mr Raab told Sky's Sophy Ridge programme: "The plan is to get the 99% of people at risk of dying dispensed their first dose by the end of April, or certainly offered their first dose.

"By doing so, taking the fatality out of this virus, we're in a much better position to proceed to start to ease the lockdown... starting with schools, non-essential retail.

"I don't think you can set an arbitrary target and not be evidence led, which is why the review on 22 February is so important."