Nothing conclusive on changing roadmap: Boris

Advertisement
As per government roadmap, the remaining curbs on social contact will end on 21 June, but there is a growing fear about the spread of new virus variant that could delay the reopening process, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that there is “nothing conclusive to say we need to deviate” from plans to end coronavirus restrictions next month.

As per government roadmap, the remaining curbs on social contact will be ended on 21 June, but there is increasing concern about the spread of virus variant first detected in India.

“We are looking very carefully at the data…what’s happening…the epidemiology…the extent to which the new variant may be more transmissible,” he said.

Meanwhile, another 2,412 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,450,392, according to official figures released Tuesday.

The country also reported another seven coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 127,691. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

Speaking at a vaccination centre at north London, Johnson stressed it underlined the need for people to get vaccinated, if they are eligible.

More than 36.8 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.

A total of 2,323 cases of the coronavirus variant first detected in India have been recorded in Britain, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Monday.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock holds a COVID-19 press conference alongside Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England and Dr Nikki Kanani, Medical Director of Primary Care for NHS England in the Briefing Room in 9 Downing Street. Picture by Tim Hammond/ No 10 Downing Street

Hancock has said there is a “high degree of confidence” that the current Covid vaccines will be effective against the India-related variant, but the virus could “spread like wildfire” among those who have not had a jab.

From Monday, pubs, bars and restaurants in England were permitted to open indoors, while indoor entertainment resumed, including cinemas, museums and children’s play areas.

Millions in England were allowed to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30 people, and meet indoors in groups of up to six or as two households.

Meanwhile, all remaining accommodation including hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen from Monday.

People were also allowed to travel abroad to a number of green-list countries without having to quarantine upon return as the ban on foreign travel has also been lifted.

UK starts surge testing

The British government’s roadmap is expected to see all legal limits on social contact to be removed on June 21.

Experts have warned that despite progress in vaccine rollout, Britain is “still not out of the woods” amid concerns over new variants, particularly those first emerged in South Africa, Brazil and India, and the third wave of the pandemic on the European continent.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines. (inpts from ANI/Xinhua)

‘Don’t holiday in amber list countries’

Prime Minister Johnson also warned people should not be holidaying in amber list countries, after Environment Secretary George Eustice said people could go and visit friends, the BBC reported.

Eustice said people could go to those countries if they quarantined when they returned. However, it is now legal to travel to countries on the amber list.

Johnson said it is very important that people should be aware of what an amber list country is.

“It is not somewhere where you should be going on holiday, let me be very clear about that,” BBC quoted Johnson as saying. “And if people do go to an amber list country, they absolutely have to for some pressing family or urgent business reason, then please bear in mind that you will have to self-isolate, you’ll have to take tests and do your passenger locator form and all the rest of it.”

The warning came amid reports that thousands had headed for destinations such as France, Greece, Spain and the US, with more than 150 flights reported to have departed on Monday, it was reported.

ALSO READ-UK defends the timing of putting India on ‘red list’

READ MORE-Covid variant cases up in UK