Covid antibodies found in more than HALF of Brits piling pressure on Boris Johnson to end lockdown faster

MORE than half of Brits now have Covid antibodies – piling pressure on Boris Johnson to unlock the UK from restrictions even faster.

Around 54 per cent of people in England are likely to have tested positive for antibodies this month, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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The encouraging figures come as Britain's vaccine roll-out continues to power on.

Elsewhere in the UK, around 50 per cent of people in Wales and 49.3 per cent in Northern Ireland are estimated to have antibodies.

About two in five people in Scotland are likely to have tested positive for antibodies in the week up to March 14.

Across England, an estimated 60 per cent of those in North West England and 50 per cent in South East England also have antibodies.

The figures are for people in private households and do not include hospitals and care homes.

The presence of coronavirus antibodies suggests someone has either had Covid-19 in the past or has been vaccinated.

It takes between two and three weeks after infection or vaccination for the human body to make enough antibodies to fight the killer bug.

The figures also show 86 per cent of people aged 80 and over in private households in England are likely to have Covid-19 antibodies.

FREEDOM NEARS

The figures come as Boris Johnson is urged to lift the lockdown faster and allow foreign holidays.

Infections and deaths in the UK from Covid have hit a six-month low.

The Prime Minister is facing increased pressure to unlock earlier after four NHS regions covering 29million people in southern England reported no deaths on Sunday.

Despite that, the PM has vowed to stick to his "cautious but irreversible" roadmap to ease restrictions.

It means pubs, restaurants and hotels can't open fully for another seven weeks at least – while trips abroad won't happen until May 17.

Last night, however, a source told The Sun the date for holidays may well be pushed back – as the picture in Europe and elsewhere "is still too bleak to make a clear decision".

A Cabinet minister said today that Brits will be back at the pub in just two weeks because "encouraging" data on the fight against the pandemic means the Prime Minister's roadmap is right on track,

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said there's "no reason to think" the next stage of unlocking, which will see bars and restaurants allowed to serve punters outside again, won't go ahead as planned on April 12.

However, there has been a warning that the roadmap to freedom will be at risk if people don't follow the rules.

Sports minister Nigel Huddlestone said the PM may not be able to press ahead with his plan to end restrictions on June 21 if the public takes liberties with today's easing of curbs on outdoor gatherings.

He suggested people should "respectfully call out" loved ones who fail to stick to social distancing, urging Brits to avoid hugging and close contact because it risks spreading the virus.



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