Coronavirus UK news – Indian variant may derail June freedom as second vaccines brought forward & Army sent to Bolton

BRITAIN’S June 21 ‘Freedom Day’ is under threat from rising numbers of the Indian Covid variant as the Army is deployed to Bolton.

The PM also announced the gap between first and second jabs would be slashed to eight weeks after cases of the new Covid strain more than doubled in the last week.

However, he insisted the Monday’s unlocking of restrictions – including socialising in groups of six indoors – would still take place.

Speaking at an urgent press conference on Friday, Mr Johnson said Monday’s May 17 easing will go ahead, but warned that the total lifting of lockdown restriction on June 21 simply cannot be guaranteed.

Although the new Indian variant is popping up in local hotspots all over the UK, the PM said Brits just have to “wait and see” how serious the local outbreaks become and whether they result in increased hospitalisations.

As yet all indications show vaccines remain effective against the new variant, meaning that despite an increasing number of covid infections, hospitalisations remain low and deaths incredibly rare.

Reading our coronavirus live blog below for up to the minute updates…

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