Four people have now died from the Indian variant of coronavirus in the UK as the public have been urged to do their part in suppressing the virus.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi urged people in the 15 areas of England where the variant has quickly spread to follow local health advice, get tested and isolate if they test positive.
London and the North West have seen the biggest rise in cases.
The Prime Minister is set to hold a press conference at 5pm today to update the nation on the latest with the Covid virus.
June 21 road map easing ‘still on’
Asked if the June 21 road map easing – when all legal limits on social contact are due to be lifted – could be put on ice, Mr Zahawi told LBC’s Nick Ferrari that this Monday’s reopening of indoor meet-ups “is still on”.
When pressed on whether the plans for June 21 could be paused, he said: “The way we don’t have to do that is by everybody doing their bit, by taking the two tests a week, doing your PCR test in those areas, and to isolate, isolate, isolate.
“We have got to break the cycle of infection, because one of those big tests was infection rates have to be suppressed, and the other big test is variants.
“If those cause a problem, then the tests will fail. The four tests have to be met for June 21.”
Latest Covid data
It comes as data has revealed that around one in 1,340 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to May 8.
That figure is down from one in 1,180 the previous week, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It is the lowest figure since the week to September 5 2020, when the estimate stood at one in 1,400.
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