Yesterday, the Prime Minister made a statement to the House of Commons regarding the latest lockdown.
This new variant has caused significant issues and plunged into this harsh national lockdown. The transmission rate is such that it is taking longer for the effects to be seen - particularly in our hospitals.
Our number one priority is getting schools back as quickly as possible. If the vaccination programme continues at the pace it is now, we hope to be able to return schools on March 8th. While this is, of course, conditional the vaccine rollout is going extremely well and there is reason to be optimistic that this can be achieved.
Another key point made was the lifting of other parts of the lockdown. It has been made clear we are not yet at that point but after the February recess, the Prime Minister will publish a plan which will, again, be conditional.
I have said many times before that this is a straight forward race between the virus and vaccine and we have to be hopeful that by administering more vaccines than any other European country, we are on our way to winning it.
I will continue to update this page with further developments in this ever changing situation and you can also find more information on my Covid-19 page here.