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UK’s Johnson says data ‘ambiguous’, need to wait for data on June reopening

Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, stated on Wednesday that he would be hesitant about eliminating coronavirus restrictions since it is still uncertain how well the population will be safeguarded against a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections if the lockdown ends in June as scheduled.

Johnson has already expressed worry that the rapid spread of the B.1.617.2 variety of concern, which was initially discovered in India, might jeopardize his ambitions to lift England’s COVID restrictions on June 21.

He stated on Wednesday that there was nothing in the existing data to suggest that date would have to be pushed back, but he couldn’t promise to a June 21 reopening.

Additionally, Boris Johnson said there is still “nothing in the data at the moment that means we cannot go ahead with step four” of lifting coronavirus restrictions. “But we’ve got to be so cautious,” the prime minister warned, citing rising infection rates.

“We always knew that was going to happen,” he said, adding: “What we need to work out is to what extent the vaccination programme has protected enough of us, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, against a new surge, and there I’m afraid the data is still ambiguous.”

“The best the scientists can say at the moment is we just need to give it a little bit longer.”

According to Johnson, experts’ current advice was that more time was required for evidence on the effects of the variant, now known as the Delta variation, to accumulate. The plan for returning England from lockdown includes 5-week gaps between measures so that the effects of each move to relax restrictions could be examined before moving on to the next.

Boris Johnson stated that the government will move nations off the red, amber, and green lists of travel restrictions with “no hesitation.” When asked if other nations may be added to the green list in the near future, where there are no quarantine restrictions upon return to the UK, the prime minister said:

“You’ve got to wait and see what the Joint Biosecurity Centre say and what the recommendations are about travel.

We’re going to try … to allow people to travel, as I know that many people want to, but we’ve got to be cautious and we’ve got to continue to put countries on the red list, on the amber list, when that is necessary.

I want you to know we will have no hesitation in moving countries from the green list to the amber list to the red list, if we have to do so. The priority is to continue the vaccine rollout, to protect the people of this country.”

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