Wednesday, 23 Jun 2021

Britons warned local restrictions possible despite lockdown end ‘Can’t rule anything out’

Matt Hancock grilled by Alastair Campbell over COVID-19 inquiry

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Environment Secretary George Eustice said that the Government “can’t rule anything out” when asked about the possible introduction of local restrictions in areas of the country that are considered “Covid hotspots”. Mr Eustice explained the Government is “monitoring the situation” and will take the necessary action against spikes in infection in areas such as Bolton which has seen a break out of the India Covid variant. The warning comes as lockdown restrictions continue to be lifted across the UK, with expectations of a full reopening by June 21.

The Environment Secretary told Sky News: “We are doing a lot of lateral flow testing now, surveillance testing, both in schools with regular testing at home but also in workplaces.

“That does enable us to pick up these hotspots.

“We are not quite sure what could be driving it, whether it is particular variants that are taking hold there or whether in certain areas some people are perhaps being too lax about restrictions that are in place.

“We are monitoring these situations carefully, but overall the picture is a good one.”

He added: “But we can’t rule anything out.

“The reason we are being incredibly cautious about exiting Lockdown is we want this to be the last.

“There is always a risk that a new variant will come in that the vaccine is less effective against.

“We have got falling incidents of the virus and obviously with the success of the vaccine rollout.

“There are far fewer hospitalisations and deaths now at a very low level.”

More to follow…

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