BORIS Johnson has insisted that he WON’T delay the lockdown lift roadmap but warned that a third wave will hit the UK.
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Boris Johnson speaking at the coronavirus press briefing this evening at Downing Street
“We cannot delude ourselves that covid has gone away,” Boris said.
“I see nothing in the data now that makes me think we are going to have to deviate in any way from the roadmap cautious but irreversible that we have set out.”
However, the Prime Minister warned that although England will continue on along the roadmap, that a third wave is still likely at some point saying that “We must learn to live with this disease.”
“But the majority of scientific opinion in this country is still firmly of the view that there will be another wave of covid at some stage this year.
“and so we must – as far as possible – learn to live with this disease, as we live with other diseases.”
Although it is not yet classified a variant of concern like Brazil or South African strains , the fact the Indian variant contains multiple mutations from the original SARS CoV-2 makes it much less easy to predict.
Two of the mutations seen in the India strain could make dodge vaccines much easier than earlier variants, while a third mutation could make it much easier to transmit.
So far there are at least 73 documented cases of the Indian strain in the UK but there is criticism that the decision to place India on the travel red list was made too late to prevent it from taking hold over here.
The Government’s former chief scientific adviser Professor Sir Mark Walport told BBC Breakfast: “These decisions are almost inevitably taken a bit too late in truth, but what’s absolutely clear is that this variant is more transmissible in India.”
In good news, the PM announced at the press conference that 33million Brits have received their first jabs.
This number includes 60 percent of the the 45 to 49-year-olds.
The next key date on Boris’ roadmap out of lockdown is May 17 which will mark the lifting of many indoor restrictions in place across the UK.
Pubs, cinemas and indoor bingo halls will reopen their doors to allow customers inside and fans will once again be able to watch live sport and music at stadiums and arenas, with social distancing.
Outdoor stadiums will be limited to 25 per cent capacity up to 10,000 fans.
Smaller outdoor events will be limited to 50 per cent capacity up to 4,000 fans and indoor events 50 per cent up to 1,000 people.
Wembley Stadium is scheduled to host the semi-finals and final of the delayed Euro 2020 in July.
The number of attendees allowed at weddings will rise to 30.
Two households can go away together and stay overnight, but must try to stick to social distancing.
But Brits have been warned not to book summer holidays abroad yet as the ban on foreign travel may not be lifted on May 17.
Boris warned it is “still too soon to know what is possible” due to the risk of allowing Covid variants into the country.