Indian variant has now accounted for a 40% increase in new COVID cases

The Indian variant is responsible for a 40% increase in new coronavirus infections leading ministers to rethink whether restrictions should be lifted on 21 June.

England has now seen an increase of nearly 40% in new coronavirus cases despite around one million vaccinations having been administered over the weekend alone.

40% increase in one week

Yesterday, 30 May, 3,240 new COVID cases had been recorded compared to the 2,325 seven days prior. As a result, ministers are looking to come up with contingency plans in order to extend restrictions well passed the anticipated fourth phase of the roadmap out of lockdown originally scheduled for 21 June.

As fears grow that the Indian mutation could severely impact the progress that has been made in the last months, NHS chiefs have warned that hospitals might be met with worrying pressure if all restrictions are lifted prematurely. Figures have revealed that between May 19 and 25, 870 people were admitted into hospitals due to the coronavirus—an increase of 23.2% when compared to the previous week. Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi explained that:

We have to be cautious. We have to look at the data and share it with the country. Are we still vaccinating at scale? Big tick. Are the vaccines working? Yes.

Before adding:

But are infection rates too high for us to then not be able to proceed because there are too many people getting into hospital? I don't know the answer to it. But we will know it on, hopefully on the 14th, a few more weeks.

Financial repercussions on the hospitality industry

But not following through with the original plan to grant full freedom back to businesses on 21 June might mean that some will not be able to bounce back after the hundreds of thousands of pounds lost during the height of the pandemic last year. British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin said:

If the Government does leave any lingering restrictions in play then they really need to give us advance notice of that and it needs to talk seriously about financial compensation.But right now we are asking the Government to stick to their road map.
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