Could things be looking up? 

The message from Boris Johnson and Professor Chris Whitty at the Downing Street press briefing this evening was this: cases, hospitalisations and deaths are coming down.

The backdrop to the cautiously optimistic message is a string of encouraging vaccine developments and statistics. 

Oxford University’s Professor Andy Pollard, part of the team behind the AstraZeneca vaccine, says the jab can be easily tweaked in response to new mutations. “I think the actual work on designing a new vaccine is very, very quick because it’s essentially just switching out the genetic sequence for the spike protein,” he said.