UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the discovery of the highly contagious ‘P1’ Brazilian variant of Covid-19 will not track his government’s plans to ease restrictions on lockdown in England in the coming weeks.
The Prime Minister said there is currently no reason to change plans to start reopening England after three months with a third national lockdown. Schools and colleges are ready to return to personal learning from March 8 with restrictions on shops and businesses, pubs and gatherings for the next three months – infection rates allow.
Earlier Monday, Prof Graham Medley, head of the government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modeling, told the BBC that the discovery of the Brazilian variant could mean putting reopening plans on hold.
However, Johnson responded to these comments: “I have not heard that, and our whole strategy is to move forward in a way that is cautious but irreparable.”
“And we do not think that on this basis there is any reason to change it now,” added the Prime Minister.
There are currently six known cases of the variant in the UK and health authorities have so far tracked down five of these people. The hunt is underway to try to find the sixth person who returned a positive test but who could not provide the full contact information.
If you had a COVID test on 12 or 13 February and did not get your result, please call 119 in England, Wales or Northern Ireland or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland.
– Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) March 1, 2021
Health Minister Matt Hancock has issued a new peel Monday with a call for anyone who had been tested for Covid on 12 or 13 February but who has not retrieved their results to contact the National Health Services emergency line as soon as possible.
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