Dr Jenny Harries says it's 'looking good' that England Covid restrictions will end on June 21

24 May 2021, 08:06 | Updated: 24 May 2021, 08:24

England is due to enter its fourth and final stage of lockdown-easing on June 21
England is due to enter its fourth and final stage of lockdown-easing on June 21. Picture: PA/Getty
Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

Dr Jenny Harries has said the chance of roadmap going ahead as planned is 'looking good' if people continue to be careful.

The prospect of coronavirus restrictions ending in England on June 21 is 'looking good' as long as people are careful and continue to take precautions, Dr Jenny Harries said on Sunday.

Dr Harries, who is chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, spoke about the prospect of the roadmap going ahead as planned during an appearance on The Andrew Marr Show yesterday.

She was optimistic about the prospect, but warned that people needed to take precautions as the Indian variant continues to circulate.

Dr Harries urged the public to continue to take precautions
Dr Harries urged the public to continue to take precautions. Picture: PA

Dr Harries said: "It’s looking good if people are continuing to observe all of the safety signals, so we should not stop doing what we’re doing, particularly in areas where we have that variant of concern, the B.1.617.2, in the north-west and around London.

"It’s really important that people continue to do ‘hands, face, space’ and work from home, have their jabs and go for tests as well. The cases of the B.1.617.2 variant are rising, they have risen very steeply and much of the media have reported a 160% rise in cases over the week period [to 20 May] but they seem to be slightly levelling at the moment.

Nightclubs are among the businesses that could reopen on June 21
Nightclubs are among the businesses that could reopen on June 21. Picture: Getty

"It’s still very early days. We all need to be very cautious and I think we all don’t want to go back to the sort of lockdowns that we’ve had … none of us want to return to that sort of restriction."

Her words come as it was announced that more than 22.6million people in the UK have had two doses of coronavirus vaccine.

There were 762,361 first and second doses given out yesterday, the most since the pandemic began.

Brits have been urged to take up their second vaccine when offered it
Brits have been urged to take up their second vaccine when offered it. Picture: PA

As reported by the Guardian, Figures from Public Health England on Saturday showed that the vaccine efficacy after one dose drops from 50 per cent against the Kent variant to 33 per cent against the Indian variant.

The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine increases efficacy to 88 per cent and AstraZeneca’s to 60 per cent.

Speaking about the findings, Prof Paul Hunter from the University of East Anglia urged people to get their second vaccine when offered it, saying: "What is clear from this research is that the main thing we can do to reduce the spread of this variant is to ensure that we get our second dose of whatever vaccine we had for our first injection."

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