Two more months of lockdown! Top expert warns UK not ready to reopen on June 21

UK 'should wait two months to unlock fully' says expert

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Plans to ease lockdown measures on June 21 with step four of the Government’s coronavirus roadmap have been thrown into doubt. Professor Christina Pagel has warned that the UK “should wait a few more months to unlock fully” as a multitude of new virus variants emerge and spread, threatening to unravel the success of the UK vaccination rollout. The health expert has told BBC radio that the planned easing should be moved back months to allow time for more people to be fully vaccinated.

Professor Pagel told Radio 4’s Today programme: “At least we get hard evidence it is not as risky as it seems so for we have sort of been crossing our fingers a little bit.

“SAGE and Public Health England both say it is a more transmissible variant we know it has some level of vaccine escape.

“So we are in a situation where compared to two months ago we now have a dominant variant that both transmit faster and vaccines are less effective against particularly after one dose and although we have really really could one dose coverage we don’t have really really good two-dose coverage.”

She added: “If we can just delay step four of the roadmap until we have a much higher proportion of people vaccinated with two doses we are in a much much better position. 

“We are only two months away from that.”

More to follow…

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