Coronavirus: Britain’s health minister says too early to decide on lifting lockdown
- Matt Hancock said it’s too early to say whether a planned easing of restrictions on June 21 can go ahead
- He pointed to a renewed rise in Covid-19 cases linked to the Delta variant
Hancock said there had been a “very significant” impact from the Delta variant of Covid-19 first detected in India over the last month, which is now the dominant strain in England, according to official estimates.
He pointed to a renewed rise in virus cases but said he had been reassured by a broadly flat rate of hospitalisation and deaths as officials consider plans to end the lockdown.
“It’s too early to make a final decision on that,” Hancock told Sky News.
“The prime minister and I and the team will be looking at all the data over this week. We’ve said that we’ll give people enough time ahead of the June 21 date.
“We are not saying ‘No’ to June 21 at this point,” he added.
What do we know so far about the Covid-19 variants?
Britain’s swift vaccine roll-out had weakened, but not broken, the link between the virus, hospitalisation and death, Hancock said.