Covid live news: Boris Johnson hints at lockdown easing delay; Italy to give AstraZeneca jab to over-60s only

Robert Peston: So we’re delaying by four weeks aren’t we?

PM: Well we’re setting out the position on Monday but what I can certainly tell you is that to deliver an irreversible roadmap you’ve got to be cautious, we’re still looking at the data, we’re seeing unquestionably not just cases but also hospitalisations going up – there’ll be arguments about the extent to which they’re going up, extent to which feeding into fatalities. But in order to deliver an irreversible roadmap gotta be cautious.

RP: Is hospitalisations the key bit of data?

PM: I think we’ve got to do whatever it takes to protect life in this country.

RP: So hospitalisations is the key bit of data?

PM: We’re looking at all the data but what we’re wanting to do is avoid another wave of deaths that could be prevented by allowing the vaccines to work in the way that they are – the vaccine programme has been absolutely astonishing and there’s no question that if you look at the people going into hospital now they tend to be in different groups, younger groups than we saw in the first couple of waves of the pandemic, seen different outcomes but it may be that we need in the race between the vaccines and the virus, we need to make sure we give the vaccines extra legs.

RP: Do you regret not putting India on red list a bit earlier? We put it on the red list on April 23 You must have a bit of regret?

PM: We put India on the red list so that you have to spend 10 days quarantining in a hotel if you come from India, which was before the variant was identified as … a very deep concern.


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