Summer holiday plans are up in the air for another month as concerns about the Indian variant grow, it has been reported.
While Boris Johnson delayed India to the travel red list at least 20,000 passengers from the country travelled to the UK, the Times reports.
They may have brought cases of the mutant strain with them, which is now accounting for growing numbers of infections in the UK.
The Prime Minister only added India to a group of countries with the strictest travel restrictions on April 23, three weeks after he placed Pakistan and Bangladesh on the red list.
Now there are concerns that the Indian variant could derail lockdown easing plans if it is able to spread widely in the UK.
A government source has now told The Times that they are not able to say whether the June 21 lockdown lifting will go ahead as planned until a week before the event.
The lack of uncertainty is sure to leave many people’s summer holiday plans up in the air.
While the date of the much awaited lockdown lifting finale is in doubt, the government is going ahead with plans to ease rules on Monday.
Under the penultimate step of the route out of the restrictions people will be allowed to socialise indoors in homes, pubs and restaurants.
Physical contact between households will be permitted for the first time in more than a year.
Limited audiences will also be allowed back into theatres, music venues and sports stadiums and foreign travel to some countries will be allowed.
Although the restrictions are being lifted, the coronavirus situation remains concerning.
Sir Mark Walport, a member of Sage warned today that while vaccines still seemed to be protecting people from severe Covid cases, they appeared less good at stopping transmission of the Indian strain.
The deputy chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the race between the spread of coronavirus and the vaccination rollout was “on a knife edge”.
Prof Harnden said: “The vaccines may be less effective against mild disease but we don’t think they’re less effective against severe disease.
“But in combination with being less effective against mild disease, they’re almost certainly less effective against transmission.”
He added: “That’s why we’re imploring (local authorities) to get out there and vaccinate their unvaccinated people.”
Public Health England data shows a rise in cases of the Indian variant of concern from 520 to 1,313 this week in the UK.