UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson today said the government may look to relax the measures after February half-term but urges caution on the timetable.
Johnson added that relaxing of rules will be a “gradual unwrapping” rather than a “big bang”.
The end date in the legislation being debated today – 31 March – will allow a “steady, controlled” and “evidence-led” move down the regional tier system.
He added that as we take this “giant leap to reclaiming our lives”, we have to “contend with the new variant”.
It has been spreading with “frightening ease and speed” leading to “more cases than ever before” – and these numbers “cannot be explained away by the meteoric rise in testing”.