Covid News – Live: Restaurants set to open indoors amid fears of Indian variants as 20 million people receive a second blow
England, Scotland and Wales are expected to ease coronavirus restrictions on Monday in the biggest return to normal so far this year.
From Monday, people will be able to dine indoors in pubs and restaurants under the “rule of six”. They will also be able to meet indoors in private homes, as well as in cinemas, museums and other places. Groups of up to 30 will also be able to meet outdoors as part of the further easing of restrictions.
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The easing of restrictions comes amid fears about the spread of the Indian variant of the coronavirus, with several people in Bolton hospitalized after contracting the highly contagious variation.
After the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) concluded that there is a “realistic possibility” that the Indian variant is 50% more transmissible than the deadly Kent variant, experts at the advisory body called for the caution in relaxing the rules.
“If we are tracking data and not dates, it’s surprising that the roadmap is moving forward without adjustment,” Sage professor Susan Michie told the Sunday Times.
Ministers had good news over the weekend, however, as Matt Hancock and Nadhim Zahawi revealed that 20,103,658 people across the UK have now received both doses of a Covid vaccine.
Health Secretary Mr Hancock said in a statement that “receiving a second dose is essential to ensure you have the ultimate protection against this deadly virus”, while Vaccines Minister Mr Zahawi said added that it was “inspiring to see the incredible public response to our call to arms. to get the jab ”.