THREAT TO FREEDOM DAY
Daily Mirror|May 15, 2021
Fears for final unlocking in June due to more contagious Indian variant. Army sent in to hotspots as gap between jabs cut from 12 to 8 weeks. Danger signs. Indian variant in UK is highly transmissible. Fears over lifting of the final lockdown curbs
LIZZY BUCHAN, MARTIN BAGOT and PAUL BYRNE
THE Indian variant of Covid is putting the end of lockdown at risk.

Boris Johnson fears a “serious disruption” to the lifting of all curbs by June.

The Army will help with tests in northern hotspots.

HOPES of all lockdown restrictions being lifted by June 21 look to be under threat due to surging cases of the Indian Covid variant.

Boris Johnson yesterday warned he may have to put the brakes on the final easing of curbs, which will dampen the mood of a weary nation that believed the end of the pandemic was in sight when he made the bold pledge weeks ago.

Chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty said the new variant appeared more transmissible than the Kent version that triggered a third lockdown in winter.

And the PM came under fire for not closing our borders to those travelling from India sooner as the variant raged across the sub-continent.

The variant is now in at least 15 areas of England, including London and the North West, with cases soaring in the last week from 530 to 1,313 – causing four deaths so far.

And the Army will be deployed in the North to hand out checks, while the vaccine rollout will be boosted in Covid hotspots such as Bolton and Blackburn, where huge queues formed at test sites.

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