India’s COVID-19 variant could disrupt UK plans to end blockade in June: Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the first variants of the CCP virus detected in India could “cause serious disruption” to plans to ease blockade restrictions and ended them as expected in June. He warned that it “may be more difficult” to do.

However, he said step 3 of the government roadmap from the COVID-19 lockdown would proceed as planned on May 17, allowing indoor hospitality facilities to reopen and resume overseas travel.

Correspondence to Downing Street Press conferenceJohnson said: “Current evidence suggests that we don’t need to delay the roadmap. We’re planning to move on to Step 3 in the UK starting Monday.

“But we need to level with you that this new variant can cause serious turmoil in our progress and make the transition to Step 4 in June more difficult.”

Johnson said the country would face a “difficult choice” if India’s concern, also known as B1617.2, turned out to be much more infectious than other strains.

But he said, “There is no evidence to suggest that our vaccine is less effective in protecting people from severe illness and hospitalization.”

“The competition between our vaccination program and the virus can be very fierce and therefore more important than ever, so we protect the public while watching the situation develop so closely. I believe we need to trust the vaccine to do so. People are protected by a second vaccination. “

He said the remaining second dose over the age of 50 would be accelerated, so it would come eight weeks after the first dose.

The government also prioritizes the first dose for those who are qualified but have not yet accepted the vaccine.

In Bolton and Blackburn, where infections are on the rise, troops are deployed on the streets to distribute tests to support surge testing efforts.

Johnson urged people in these areas to “play their part in stopping the spread of new variants,” and called for vaccines and rapid testing twice a week.

Johnson encouraged people to “think” before traveling to areas with high mutation rates and staying with family and friends in those areas.

“We recognize that people in these areas have additional risks to the progression caused by this new variant, additional threats of confusion, and in a way that they are confident they were throughout this pandemic. I hope to exercise their discretion and judgment. “He said.

PA contributed to this report.