Boris Johnson declares next Covid roadmap phase is ON and there is ‘nothing in the data’ to halt easing lockdown

BORIS Johnson today declared the next phase in the Covid roadmap is on track.

He said there is “nothing in the data” that suggests the easing of lockdown restrictions should halt.

The PM acknowledged cases could again spiral as restrictions are relaxed, with the “stay local” order having ended in Wales and larger outdoor meetings being permitted in England from Monday.

But he said on Saturday that the “key difference” this time is that the rise in prevalence should be “sufficiently mitigated” by the successful vaccine rollout.

However, there were warnings that more must be done to prevent the import of new variants from overseas as vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi raised the prospect of booster shots beginning in September.

During a discussion at the Conservatives’ virtual spring forum, the Prime Minister said that a “third wave” is being witnessed in parts of Europe and “bitter experience” has taught him that this could hit the UK “three weeks later”.

“The question is – is it going to be, this time, as bad it has been in the past? Or have we sufficiently mitigated, muffled, blunted the impact by the vaccine rollout?” he added.

It comes as the number of Covid deaths in the UK passes 150,000, according to the latest figures.

And it follows a day of anti-lockdown protesters clashing with cops across the country, with demonstrations “turning ugly”.

Thirteen protesters were arrested as they tried to storm a vaccination centre in Bradford, and nine cops were injured in wild clashes today.

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