Ian Payne 4am - 7am
'Nothing in the data' to suggest delay to June 21 lifting of lockdown in England, PM says
2 June 2021, 13:49 | Updated: 2 June 2021, 15:49
Boris Johnson has insisted there is "nothing in the data" to suggest the June 21 lifting of coronavirus restrictions will not go ahead.
However he added that the data is "still ambiguous" and "we just need to give it a little bit longer" before a firm decision is made.
"I can see nothing in the data at the moment that means we can't go ahead with step four, or the reopening on June 21 but we have got to be so cautious," the Prime Minister said.
"Because there's no question. The ONS data on infection rates is showing an increase, we always knew that was going to happen, don't forget.
"We always said that the unlocking steps that we've taken would lead to increases in infection. What we need to work out is to what extent the vaccination programme has protected enough of us, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, against a new surge.
"And there I'm afraid the data is just still ambiguous.
"The best the scientists can can say at the moment in their guidance to us is that we just need to give it a little bit longer and I'm sorry that's frustrating for people, I know that people are wanting a clear answer about the way ahead for June 21st, but we've just got to wait a little bit longer."
His comments will encourage those who felt the wind was blowing in favour of the June 21 date being postponed, but it does not commit the Prime Minister to reopening.
His remarks about waiting to see to what extent the vaccines have been breaking the link between cases and deaths came ahead of the announcement that 75% of adults have had their first jab across the UK.
Matt Hancock confirmed in a speech on Wednesday that three-quarters of the adult population had received a first vaccine dose.
Zero daily deaths were reported for the first time this year on Tuesday.