London: Indian variant COVID is said to be creating serious disruptions in the lifting of final stage lockdown restrictions across England, prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to announce there will be hard choices to face in regards to curbs.
Since the absence of data on how transmittable and how dangerous the Indian variant is, the final stage easing could be more difficult and could be proceeded to 21 June, Johnson said.
Considering the uncertainty over the relaxing of curbs, the PM also announced the plan to accelerate the vaccination and cut down the gap between two doses from 12 weeks to eight for all over-50s and the clinically vulnerable.
Johnson urged people of Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen, hotspots for two variant viruses, to rethink before taking advantage of the freedoms allowed again from Monday.
PM's statement on the Indian variant came on the heels of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies that suggested a realistic possibility of the variant could be 50% more transmissible than the Kent variant.
Minding on this, they suggested that progressing to the third phase could cause a substantial resurgence of hospitalisations. The variant's spread will raise questions about perceived government delays in adding India to the "red list" of countries from which arrivals have to quarantine in hotels.