The prime minister is determined the remaining coronavirus restrictions in England will be lifted on 19 July, No 10 says, despite concern that a rise in deaths could force a change of plan.

“When we set out on our roadmap to freedom a few months ago, we were determined to make progress that was cautious but irreversible. And step by step – thanks to the enormous efforts of the British people and the spectacular vaccine roll-out we now have one of the most open economies and societies in this part of the world.”

“And as we have always known and as the February roadmap explicitly predicted – this opening up has inevitably been accompanied by more infection and more hospitalisation. Because we must be clear that we cannot simply eliminate Covid – we must learn to live with it. And with every day that goes by we are better protected by the vaccines and we are better able to live with the disease.”

For the full speech click here.

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