Kent variant

Could 21 June be delayed?

There are two key questions ahead of the 21 June reopening. First, as I say in the magazine this week, there is the issue of how much more transmissible the Indian variant is than the Kent one. According to papers published by Sage, it is a ‘realistic possibility’ that it is up to 50 per cent more transmissible. If the true figure is at the top of this range, then a full reopening would likely lead to another big wave of cases and put pressure on hospitals. But the view in Whitehall is that if it is only 30 per cent more transmissible, then it should be safe to proceed

Boris Johnson warns that new Covid variant could be more deadly

Those in the lookout for good Covid news will found precious little of it in Boris Johnson’s latest Covid press conference. Although the Prime Minister had cause for optimism in the form of the vaccine rollout – over 5.4 million people have now received their first dose of the vaccine, one in ten adults, – the overall message was of difficult times ahead. Johnson said there was evidence to suggest that the ‘Kent variant’ not only spreads faster but is deadly. The PM pointed to data assessed by scientists on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group which, he said, suggested the variant could be up to 30 per cent more deadly than the original.  Chief Scientific