FILE PHOTO: Vaccine deployment minister Nadhim Zahawi speaks at the House of Commons in London, Britain February 4, 2021. UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS

The evidence indicates that vaccines are proving effective at cutting the transmission of Covid-19, the vaccines minister said on Monday ahead of a government announcement on a path out of lockdown.

“Suffice to say the evidence looks good,” Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News when asked if vaccines were effective at cutting infections and hospitalisations.

“We wouldn’t be in this place this morning to be able to say that we’re going to reopen schools on March 8, and… as school holidays begin on March 29, we will look at the rule of six and two families being (able) to see each other outdoors … if we’re not confident that actually the vaccine programme is beginning to really bear fruit.”

He said schools in England will re-open on March 8, while two families or six people will be able to meet outside from March 29 as the country’s Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

“The view is very much that this is about a gradual reopening of the whole of England, not regional,” he told LBC Radio.

“Children first, then the priority is schools, two people able to meet outdoors and maybe have a coffee together, that is also on the 8th of March. Then (on the) 29th, two families, or rule of six, and outdoor sports (will be allowed to start again).”

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