People should not “squander the gains” made against coronavirus in recent months, the head of NHS England has warned ahead of lockdown restrictions easing on Monday.
NHS England national medical director Prof Stephen Powis said “enormous progress” had been made, but it “does not mean job done”.
Outdoor gatherings in England are allowed from Monday.
Boris Johnson has said the roadmap for easing restrictions remains on track.
But writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Prof Powis warned that coronavirus could still “wreak more havoc and ill-health on a significant scale”. He cited concerns over variants.
While there are thousands of different versions, or variants, of Covid-19 circulating, those that are of particular concern were first detected in the UK, South Africa and Brazil.
Several European countries are already battling a third wave of coronavirus infections – the effects of which Mr Johnson said will “wash up on our shores”.
There also remain ongoing tensions over vaccine exports on the continent.
However, the prime minister has insisted that there is “absolutely nothing in the data” to discourage him from easing restrictions as planned on Monday.
News Source: BBC News