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UK PM expects easing of COVID lockdown to go ahead on May 17

May 15, 2021
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.



LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expects an easing of Britain's COVID-19 lockdown to go ahead on May 17, his spokesman said, after concerns were raised over the spread of a coronavirus variant first detected in India.

"We've announced the changes that are taking place on Monday and the prime minister said himself he expects they will go ahead," the spokesman said, adding that a five-week period before the next planned step in the easing of restrictions would be a time to assess any new data closely.

"The prime minister himself has said that at the moment we don't see any evidence or data to suggest we're not on course for the timings in the road map."

Friends and family will be able to hug and mix indoors from next week, while cinemas and museums can reopen, Johnson is to confirm on Monday despite growing concerns over the spread of the India coronavirus variant.

Scientists warned this weekend that cases are doubling in some areas where the variant, B1.617.2, has been detected. More deprived areas and those with large ethnic minority communities where vaccination rates may be lower are most affected, they said.

Johnson will confirm that the next stage in the easing of COVID restrictions for England will go ahead from 17 May. Indoor meals will be allowed for groups of up to six or two households, while cinemas, galleries and the rest of the accommodation sector will reopen. — Agencies


May 15, 2021
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