The coronavirus pandemic has put a halt on many aspects of normal life, with non-essential shops closed, schools shut and Britons told to stay home. These conditions have been in place for the best part of a year, with the roll-out of vaccines crucial for a return to normality.
Currently, vaccines are being given out in tiered groups to those most vulnerable.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to address the nation on Monday to set out his roadmap out of lockdown.
This comes as coronavirus data has suggested COVID-19 infections are dropping across the UK.
Around one in 115 people in private households in England had Covid-19 between February 6 and 12, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, down from around one in 80 people from January 31 to February 6.
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Can I visit family in hospital? What are the rules?
Most guidance depends on the hospital itself, so its best to check with the hospital in question.
The current Government guidance reads: “You may also leave home to visit someone who is dying or someone in a care home (if permitted under care home guidance), hospice, or hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment.”
Face masks have to be worn in hospitals and care homes, and there will be designated social distancing guidance in place if you do visit.
However, care home residents will be allowed to hold hands with a regular indoor visitor from March 8 under the Government’s plan to ease lockdown restrictions in England.
Visitors will be required to take a coronavirus lateral flow test – which gives quick results – before entry and personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn.
Residents will be asked not to hug or kiss their relatives, and guidance for care homes is expected to be published in the next fortnight.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was “pleased” it would soon be possible for people to be “carefully and safely reunited with loved ones who live in care homes”.
Mr Johnson will set out the blueprint for relaxing measures in England on Monday – the final details of which will be agreed at a meeting of the “Covid O” committee on Sunday.
The Prime Minister will then chair a meeting of his Cabinet on Monday, before announcing the plans to the Commons later on Monday afternoon.
He is expected to lead a Downing Street press conference the same evening.
Mr Johnson will be joined by England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.