Boris Johnson saw ‘nothing in the data’ to mean the June 21 easing of lockdowns cannot go forward – although he said it had to wait ‘a little longer “for a firm decision.
The fourth and final step in the Prime Minister’s easing roadmap coronavirus rules – dubbed “Freedom Day” and when the government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact – should take place in less than three weeks.
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But, in recent days, Mr Johnson has faced increasing calls from scientists to delay the complete lifting of restrictions due to the spread of the Indian variant of the coronavirus, which is believed to be more transmissible, in the UK.
Speaking in Downing Street on Wednesday, the Prime Minister appeared positive about the prospects that his roadmap remains on track for June 21.
Still, he stressed the need to be “cautious” due to “ambiguous” data on the success of the UK’s vaccination program in tackling a new wave of infections.
“I don’t see anything in the data at the moment that means we can’t move forward with the fourth stage of the opening on June 21,” he said.
“But we have to be so careful because there is no doubt that the ONS (Office for National Statistics) data on infection rates is showing an increase.
“We always knew this was going to happen. Remember we always said that the unlocking measures we took would lead to an increase in infections,
“What we need to determine is to what extent the immunization program has sufficiently protected us – especially the elderly and vulnerable – against a new wave.
“There I’m afraid the data is still ambiguous and so every day we have long sessions where we query all the data, we look at all the different models.
“And the best the scientists can say at the moment, in their advice, is that we just need to give it a little more time.”
Mr Johnson acknowledged …
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This notice was published: 2021-06-02 12:31:00