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NEW RETAIL ROAD MAP

As we go to press, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had just announced his plans for an easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions across England. The rollout of the NHS vaccination programme went well in January and February and, with reduced infection rates, plus increasing pressure to open up the economy, Johnson outlined his plans for the relaxation of rules on 22 February. The plans are cautious, with five-week breaks in between each step to review how infection rates evolve to the rule changes. But the government is determined that the changes will be ‘irreversible’ and is hopeful that this period of lockdown will be the last. Assuming the vaccination programme stays on track, no major vaccine-resistant Covid-19 variants appear in the UK and hospital admissions stay low, restrictions will fall away over spring and early summer.

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