London, May 17
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday urged people to move to the next stage of considerable easing of lockdown restrictions that allows greater indoor interactions with a “heavy dose of caution”, as the UK continues to monitor rapidly rising cases of the B1.617.2 variant of Covid-19 first identified in India.
British vacationers descend on Portugal
- British vacationers have started arriving in Portugal after the UK and Portuguese governments eased their Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions.
- A flight from Manchester, England, arrived early Monday in Faro, the main city in Portugal’s southern Algarve tourist region.
- Over 5,000 British visitors were expected to arrive in Portugal on 17 flights. AP
In what is step three of a four-step roadmap set by Johnson for easing the legally-binding lockdown restrictions, the hospitality sector, including pubs, restaurants and cinemas, and most businesses can resume close to normal service in England, Wales and most of Scotland. However, surge testing and an accelerated vaccination programme is being implemented as the threat from the variant first found in India looms over the reopening, with UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock warning over the weekend that the B1.617.2 variant of concern (VOC) seems to “spread like wildfire” among those who have not been vaccinated.
“Together we have reached another milestone, but we must take this next step with a heavy dose of caution,” said Johnson. The Department of Health and Social Care said the focus was on tackling rising cases of B1.617.2 VOC. — PTI