Covid-19: PM urges caution as 19 July unlocking set to go ahead

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to slotxo confirm later the plan to lift almost all legal restrictions on social contact in England on 19 July.

But ahead of a news conference on Monday afternoon, Mr Johnson has urged people to be cautious.

"We must all take responsibility so we don't undo our progress, ensuring we continue to protect our NHS," he said.

He warned Covid-19 cases, currently at about 30,000 a day, would continue to rise as society reopened.

The PM's news conference will present the latest data, with Downing Street saying current modelling suggests hospital admissions, serious illness and deaths from Covid-19 will continue, but at a lower level than before the vaccination programme.

Number 10 said the delay in moving to the final stage of the roadmap out of lockdown, originally scheduled for 21 June, had allowed an additional 6.8 million first and second vaccine doses to be given out so far.

The government had also moved the expected end of restrictions closer to the school summer holidays, when transmission was likely to be lower, Downing Street said.

Mr Johnson said: "We are tantalisingly close to the final milestone in our road map out of lockdown, but the plan to restore our freedoms must come with a warning."

He said the vaccine rollout had weakened the link between infections, hospital admissions and deaths, but added the pandemic was "not over yet".

With cases set to rise as restrictions were lifted, "caution is absolutely vital", the prime minister said.

As well as the news conference, Health Secretary Sajid Javid is expected to announce the plans in Parliament.