PM Johnson says must keep up restrictions to lower COVID rates further

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FILE PHOTO: British PM Johnson leads COVID-19 news conference in London

LONDON (Reuters) - British infection rates flattening and possibly beginning to fall, but they remain at a high level which means there can be no premature easing of COVID-19 restrictions, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday

"We're starting to see some signs of flattening, and maybe even a falling off infection rates and hospitalisations. But don't forget that they're still at a very high level," Johnson told broadcasters.

"The risk is that if you take your foot off the throat of the beast, if you allow things to get out of control and then you could, alas, see the disease spreading again, fast, before we got enough vaccines into people's arms. That's the risk."

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Michael Holden)