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COVID-19: Vulnerable groups in England can begin easing out of lockdown from July

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A sign requesting people stay two metres apart to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is displayed in front of "Out of Order" a 1989 red phone box sculpture
A sign requesting people stay two metres apart to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is displayed in front of "Out of Order" a 1989 red phone box sculpture   -   Copyright  Matt Dunham/AP Photo
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Vulnerable groups in the England who were told to stay at home can begin easing out of lockdown from July 6.

There were 2.2 million people who were deemed "clinically vulnerable" that the government had advised to self-isolate at home.

From July 6, people who were shielding can meet in groups of six people, including people outside of their household.

Those who were isolating will be able to return to work and go to stores from August 1 though they will continue to be advised to stay at home, UK officials said.

"This has been a very difficult and sometimes frightening period for people who have been shielding and therefore to give people time to prepare we're setting out the advice in a stepped approach," explained deputy chief medical officer for England Dr Jenny Harries.

It comes as the UK recorded lower coronavirus figures, with just 15 deaths on Sunday. The number of new COVID-19 cases was fewer than 1000 for the first time in over two months.

These numbers are typically a bit lower at the weekend but show that the virus transmission is slowing significantly, health minister Matt Hancock said.

"It shows that whilst there's still much to do, we are clearly making progress," Hancock said at the daily press conference.

Just one in 1,700 people have the virus down from one in 400 people just one month ago, he added.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out next steps to ease the lockdown in England on Tuesday.

Watch back the UK's daily press conference in the video player above.