PM: 'We might have to wait' before final decision on June 21 lockdown easing

27 May 2021, 15:43 | Updated: 27 May 2021, 16:52

Boris Johnson pictured leaving No10 earlier today
Boris Johnson pictured leaving No10 earlier today. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Boris Johnson has said he doesn't "see anything currently in the data" to divert from the June 21 target for the next stage of exiting lockdown but that No10 "may need to wait" before a final decision can be made.

The PM suggested an announcement could be delayed and that No10 "may need to wait" for more data to emerge on the spread of the Indian variant before announcing whether the final stage of lockdown easing will proceed as planned.

Mr Johnson said today: "As I have said many times I don't see anything currently in the data to suggest that we have to deviate from the road map. But we may need to wait.

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"Don't forget the important point about the intervals between the steps of the road map, we put that five weeks between those steps to give us time to see what effect the unlockings are having."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said earlier today that it was too early to tell if the full unlocking can go ahead.

Mr Hancock said: "It is true the Indian variant is spreading across the country, and estimates vary as to what proportion of the new cases each day are the variant first identified in India, which is more transmissible.

"My assessment is that it is too early now to say, yet, whether we can take the full step four on June 21. Like him [Hunt], I desperately want us to, but we will only do that if it's safe."