Indian variant threatens UK reopening plan
London, May 29 (EFE).- The spread of the Indian variant of coronavirus is threatening the British government’s road map to easing Covid-19 restrictions in the United Kingdom, which will see all measures lifted and free international travel from June 21.
The vice-chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), Anthony Harnden, acknowledged on Saturday that the country will have to proceed with “caution” whether or not the easing of restrictions is completed on schedule.
The Conservative government expected to complete the re-opening on June 21, although in the last few days it has indicated that the plan could be delayed due to the increase in the number of infections linked to the spread of the contagious Indian variant.
According to data released this week, up to 75% of new cases of detected in the UK correspond to this variant identified for the first time in India.
In the last 24 hours, 4,182 new infections have been reported in the United Kingdom, 24% more than a week ago, and 10 deaths, 38.1% more, while 24.5 million people have already received two doses of the vaccine. Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, there have been 4.47 million positives and a total of 127,768 deaths.
Health Minister Matt Hancock has admitted that, although an increase in cases was to be expected as restrictions were relaxed, due to the changing epidemiological situation it is too early to confirm whether all restrictions will be lifted by June 21.
The growing prevalence of the Indian variant in this country has led neighbors such as Germany and France to restrict entry access to British travelers by imposing several days of quarantine, among other sanitary conditions.
Although Spain and other tourist destinations are keeping their doors open to visitors from the UK, there are doubts as to whether London is going to facilitate trips abroad in the short term, despite pressure from tour operators and airlines. EFE