Covid: England's coronavirus lockdown will not be eased before July 19, new health secretary Sajid Javid says

ITV News Health Editor Emily Morgan reports on the latest Covid developments

The easing of England's coronavirus lockdown restrictions will not be brought forward but the government "sees no reason to go beyond" July 19, new Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said in his first appearance in front of MPs in the role.

Mr Javid, who returned to the Cabinet on Saturday, told MPs on Monday "no date we choose comes with zero risk for Covid.

"We cannot simply eliminate it, we have to learn to live with it."

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The former chancellor reflected his priorities in the role saying "people and business need certainty so we want every step to be irreversible".

He added, when the time was right, "restrictions on our freedom, they must come to the end".

Mr Javid also pointed to data showing the impact of the vaccination programme on the virus.

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He said while the Delta variant (which originated in India), which makes up around 95% of new cases, was leading to cases "ticking up, the number of deaths remains mercifully low".

He added vaccines have now saved 27,000 lives and prevented more than seven million people from contracting Covid-19.

Mr Javid's appearance in the Commons was his first since taking over the job from Matt Hancock who resigned following the scandal over his Covid rules breach after footage emerged of him kissing a close aide.

He praised the former Health Secretary telling MPs: "He worked hard throughout all these testing times.

"He has achieved a great amount in the work that he did and I know he will have more to offer in public life - and I wish him the very best."

Watch Sajid Javid give his first statement to MPs as Health Secretary