VACCINES minister Nadhim Zahawi warned “we have to be cautious” about reopening on June 21 because of the growing Indian Covid variant infection rate.
The Government will wait for the latest data on June 14 before deciding whether to proceed with lifting England’s lockdown the following week.
Mr Zahawi said that as the virus becomes endemic “we’re going to have to live with a certain amount of Covid being transmitted”.
Pressed on whether there could be a partial lifting of restrictions, with mask-wearing and working from home continuing, Mr Zahawi said: “We need to look at the data.”
The latest official figures showed that as of 9am on Sunday, there had been a further 3,240 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.
Between May 24 and 30 there were 60 deaths reported within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, an increase of 42.9 per cent compared to the previous seven days.
Three new coronavirus hotspots have been identified in England as experts warn the Indian variant is now the dominant strain.
But there’s good news, too, after it was announced that a single shot coronavirus vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has been approved for use in the UK.
The one-dose jab, developed by Johnson & Johnson’s pharma arm Janssen, is 67 per cent effective overall at preventing moderate to severe Covid-19, and may offer complete protection from admission to hospital and death.
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