British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks throughout a televised press convention at 10 Downing Street on February 22, 2021 in London, England.Leon Neal | Getty Images News | Getty ImagesLONDON — U.Ok. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had some excellent news for the nation on Monday after months of lockdown, saying an “unparalleled” vaccination program meant it was “now touring on a one-way highway to freedom.”The lockdown easing for England will are available in quite a few steps and can “at each stage be depending on information not dates,” he mentioned. The first step will see faculties in England reopen on March 8. The final, deliberate for June 21, will see the abolishment of all limits on mixing and the reopening of any sectors that stay closed, akin to nightclubs.It comes as Johnson confirmed that over 17.7 million Britons had obtained their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.”Nearly a yr after this pandemic started, this unparalleled nationwide effort has decisively shifted the percentages in our favor,” Johnson mentioned in a press convention Monday night. “We not should rely merely on lockdowns.”He added: “With day-after-day that goes by, this program of vaccinations is making a defend across the total inhabitants, which implies that we at the moment are touring on a one-way highway to freedom and we will start safely to restart our lives and do it with confidence.”More infectious pressureThe U.Ok. has been one of many worst-hit nations by the pandemic, with the fourth-highest variety of infections after the U.S., India and Brazil. To date, it has counted over 4.1 million coronavirus instances and has seen 120,987 fatalities on account of the virus, in line with information from Johns Hopkins University.It noticed a pointy rise in instances heading into winter as a brand new, extra infectious pressure of the virus emerged within the southeast of the nation. It has now grow to be the dominant pressure of the virus throughout the nation, and has been detected in quite a few nations worldwide, alongside different extra virulent strains of the virus.One silver lining within the U.Ok.’s expertise of the pandemic has been its vaccination response. It was the primary nation on the planet to approve a coronavirus vaccine, the candidate from Pfizer and BioNTech.It then permitted and beginning administering the AstraZeneca-University of Oxford jab, a less expensive vaccine that is produced within the U.Ok. and is simpler to move and retailer than rival jabs.Four key examsJohnson outlined 4 exams that have to be handed earlier than the U.Ok. can transfer to the following stage of lifting restrictions. These are:That the vaccine deployment program continues efficiently.Evidence exhibits vaccines are sufficiently efficient in decreasing hospitalizations and deaths in these vaccinated.Infection charges don’t threat a surge in hospitalizations which might put unsustainable stress on the National Health Service.That its evaluation of the dangers isn’t essentially modified by new coronavirus variants of concern.Speaking to the nation, Johnson acknowledged that some individuals would love a extra cautious method to lifting the lockdown, whereas others would favor the plan was accelerated. He referred to a “cautious stability,” however confused that restrictions couldn’t proceed indefinitely.”It’s thanks for the rollout of those vaccinations … that the stability of that judgment is now altering in our favor. And due to the vaccinations that there’s mild forward main us to a spring and a summer season which I feel will likely be seasons of hope,” Johnson mentioned. “From which we won’t return.”New infections fallingData exhibits that new infections are falling, with early research indicating that coronavirus vaccines additionally assist to stop transmission of the virus, in addition to stopping critical illness.In the final seven days, the U.Ok. has seen 78,308 new instances of the coronavirus, down 11% from the earlier weekly rely. The variety of deaths within the final seven days, 3,362 fatalities, can also be 27% decrease than the earlier seven-day rely. Hospitalizations are additionally falling.—CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt contributed to this text.