Come and join us on 6 July and hear 4 AIM CEO’s speak. Brad George, Orosur CEO updates us on Colombia’s Tier-1 gold mine potential, Cliff Gross, CEO at Tekcapital explains how investors benefit from a special dividend. Please register here.

Less Ads, More Data, More Tools Register for FREE

UPDATE 2-Ministers will make England lockdown easing decision on June 14

Sun, 16th May 2021 09:07

* Pandemic under control, says health minister

* Says early data shows vaccine effective against Indian

* Delay to full reopening could damage economic recovery
(Adds data on cases, quotes and context)

By William James

LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) - Ministers will make a decision on
June 14 about whether or not to proceed with the final phase of
lockdown easing in England, health minister Matt Hancock said on
Sunday, describing the pandemic as "under control".

On Friday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that
Britain would accelerate its COVID-19 vaccination programme to
try to contain a fast-spreading variant first identified in
India, warning that Britain's reopening could be knocked off
track by the Indian variant.

"We'll make a final decision for step four, which is the
biggest step on the roadmap. We'll make that final decision on
the 14th of June," Hancock told Sky News.

Any delay to the reopening could affect the country's
predicted recovery from its worst economic slump in three
centuries and spark fresh criticism of the government's
management of the crisis.

Britain, which has one of the world's highest official
deaths tolls at 127,675, currently has low overall rates of
infection thanks largely to the success of its vaccine rollout.

Official data shows the seven-day average of daily
infections is about 2,200 and that nearly 70% of the adult
population has received at least one vaccine dose.

The British government manages lockdown restrictions for
England, while devolved authorities for Wales, Scotland and
Northern Ireland take their own decisions.

In England, the last of four stages in the removal of
lockdown restrictions that have been in place since early
January is scheduled for June 21 and could ditch social
distancing measures entirely.

The planned third stage of easing starts on Monday. Among
other measures, people will be allowed to hug each other again
and pubs and restaurants will be able to serve customers inside.

"The whole pandemic is currently under control," Hancock
told the BBC. "But the Indian variant, it does appear, transmits
more easily from person to person and so we have to be careful."

Hancock rejected criticism from political opponents that the
government had been too slow to shut its borders to arrivals
from India while cases there were surging. He said the decision
had been taken before the variant had been officially designated
as one of concern.

The minister said there were slightly more than 1,300 cases
of the Indian variant in Britain and early data showed that
vaccines should still be effective against this variant.

"There is new, very early data out from Oxford University,
and I would stress that this is from the labs, it's not clinical
data, and it is very early, but it does give us a degree of
confidence that the vaccines work against this Indian variant,"
Hancock said.

He said that five people who had received their first dose
of the vaccine had been hospitalised with the Indian variant and
one - whom he described as "frail" - had been hospitalised after
having both doses.
(Reporting by William James
Editing by David Clarke and David Goodman)

More News

RPT-COLUMN-China's sale of state zinc reserves is a well-timed trade: Andy Home

(Repeats June 24 column without change. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters)* State Reserves Bureau's zinc history: Andy HomeLONDON, June 24 (Reuters) - The inclusion of zinc in Ch...

Today 02:00

REUTERS EVENTS-Reducing oil use to meet climate targets is tougher than cutting supply

* Oil demand and emissions show steep rise in 2021* Swiss voters reject idea to pay up to help cut emissions* Politicians unwilling to take uncomfortable decisionsBy Stephanie Kelly, Laila Kearney and Dmitry ZhdannikovNEW YORK/LONDON, June 25 (Reuter...

Today 01:01

UK car output halved as chips shortage bites

LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) - British automotive production more than halved in May compared with the same month in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic, as a global shortage of semi-conductors and other components continued to weigh on car plants...

Today 00:01

UK consumer sentiment holds at post-COVID high

LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) - British consumer sentiment held at its highest level since the start of the coronavirus pandemic this month, though households were less cheery about the economic outlook, a monthly survey from market research GfK show...

Today 00:01

Login to your account

Don't have an account? Click here to register.

Quickpicks are a member only feature

Login to your account

Don't have an account? Click here to register.