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Should restrictions be eased fully if Indian Variant case rates do not decline before June 21st?

If case rates do not decline before June 21st, what do you think should happen with the roadmap?

  • Go ahead with easing of all Covid restrictions on June 21st, assuming vaccinations are ramped up

    Votes: 174 52.9%
  • Go ahead with stage 4 of easing restrictions on June 21st, but keep masks and WFH guidance

    Votes: 29 8.8%
  • Ease some stage 4 restrictions on June 21st, but keep others for longer

    Votes: 36 10.9%
  • Postpone stage 4 easing to a later date in the worst affected hotspots

    Votes: 17 5.2%
  • Postpone stage 4 easing to a later date everywhere

    Votes: 47 14.3%
  • Impose new localised restrictions in the worst affected hotspots

    Votes: 7 2.1%
  • Impose new national restrictions

    Votes: 11 3.3%
  • Other (please specify)

    Votes: 8 2.4%

  • Total voters
    329
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PTR 444

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As we all know, the Indian Variant is causing a lot of concern regarding the lifting of restrictions on June 21st. Even though early evidence suggests that existing vaccines work well against this variant, politicians and scientists are suggesting that the final easing of restrictions should be delayed for a few weeks just to be certain.

There are signs the UK is in the early stages of a third wave of coronavirus infections, a scientist advising the government has said.
Prof Ravi Gupta, from the University of Cambridge, said although new cases were "relatively low" the Indian variant had fuelled "exponential growth".
He said ending Covid restrictions in England on 21 June should be postponed.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said the government could not rule out a delay to the planned lockdown easing.

While I can understand why people are concerned about this variant, the fact that so many people have now been vaccinated would make you like to think that a new wave will not cause a mass influx of hospital admissions and deaths. Also allowing the virus to spread amongst the healthy population will ensure that there is enough immunity around in time for winter, therefore I believe that the easing on June 21st should go ahead as planned.
 
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NorthOxonian

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The problem with the poll here is "longer" could mean anything. There may be an argument that delaying by a week or two could make a big impact and reduce any exit wave dramatically (though equally it might have little effect). When we're doing millions of vaccinations every week, you don't need to wait very long to see the situation change markedly.

But equally, "longer" could mean two months like some independent SAGE members seem to want. Or worse, it could mean two months now, and then more delay, until before we know it we've lost another year our lives. And that's my big worry - any delay at all would inevitably grow.

If I trusted the government to actually do what they said, I'd probably be open to supporting a short delay. But because I don't, I think we need to fully reopen on June 21st - otherwise we might never do so.
 

Bantamzen

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At the end of the day we are well into a vaccination programme, indeed one of the most successful in the world. Other countries are now looking at a return to normal, and as we are ahead of the curve we should be amongst the first to be doing so.

Therefore I vote for a full relaxation of all restrictions on June 21st
 

WelshBluebird

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Basically - it depends.
We have definitely seen an increase in cases, and it some areas that has directly led to an increase in hospitalisations. I don't think its been enough to really cause issues though and I've not seen any data suggesting that it has led to an increase in deaths.
Assuming that stays the same, I don't see why things can't be relaxed from June 21st (I'm hoping they can be, I have tickets for a comedy gig a few days after and a music gig a few more days after that will be cancelled if restrictions aren't lifted).
However if we start to see data suggesting the the increase in hospitalisations is an issue, or that deaths start to increase more than just by a small number, then we have to have a serious discussion about what the next steps are (maybe that is we still go ahead as planned, maybe its we delay it by a few weeks, or more likely is a mid ground where some restrictions are still lifted but some others hang around for a few more weeks).
 
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big_rig

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Pretend SAGE want 'just two weeks' of further restrictions for a series of 'just two weeks' long enough so that autumn and then winter come around, which will lead to a winter lockdown to 'protect the NHS', which will flow nicely into the thousandth or so variant of concern in spring 2022, which will lead to a series of 'just two more weeks' of psychology lecturers getting to play scientist on the BBC everyday instead of going back to be forgotten in their university dungeon. Anti-vaxxers the lot of them.
 

Busaholic

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The Elephant in the Room in all this is the G7 circus in that biggest of Big Tops, Carbis Bay. :| Johnson, in his Trump-like delusions, is absolutely determined that will go ahead for his self-aggrandisement, and if it directly leads to another few thousand deaths, and many more indirectly, let alone another few nails in the coffin that will be the British economy, then so be it, it'll all be worthwhile in his narcissistic terms. So any measures that might be taken now to make things easier later will not be taken so that the shenanigans in Cornwall can go ahead. By the way, the hit to the Cornish economy this is already directly causing may eventually add up to the same sum as the imaginary ''benefits'' extolled by the spin doctors (you can only sell a hotel bed for a particular period once, etc). So the moment Biden and the rest jet off from U.K. airspace, be prepared for not only June 21st being virtually wiped off the calendar, but the current easings on lockdown being re-imposed in some sectors and (possibly, even probably) on specific geographic areas. In any case, other countries may do a France and refuse to take British holidaymakers unless evidence shows the Indian variant is being contained.
 

brad465

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Gone for full easement as vaccinations are looking good still, and despite second doses being brought forward, new first doses have accelerated a bit recently. Also, despite what human exceptionalist beliefs exist, we can't get a zero risk situation here.

From a wider view I'm confident Johnson will be doing everything possible to resist a delay here as to do so will cost him significantly. I've seen some compare June 21st to May's March 29th Brexit deadline, and we know how that went for her. Furthermore, if he does cave in and delay it, he can be subjected to plenty of blame for allowing the Indian variant into the country in pursuit of a trade deal with India. Even if we couldn't stop that variant getting in, the red list delay will be an easy target.

This doesn't mean he won't delay, this wouldn't be the first time he's caved into SAGE demands, but he won't be getting an easy ride after any delay on his watch.
 

westv

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Any delay will still be covered by what was originally said

21st June at the earliest.
 

LAX54

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Not sure who this 'Professor' is but he is intmating the verge of a 3rd wave !

There are signs the UK is in the early stages of a third wave of coronavirus infections, a scientist advising the government has said.
Prof Ravi Gupta, from the University of Cambridge, said although new cases were "relatively low" the Indian variant had fuelled "exponential growth".
He said ending Covid restrictions in England on 21 June should be postponed.

which is on the BBC News site, but of course with every lockdown, you will get a surge after it !
 

duncanp

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Not sure who this 'Professor' is but he is intmating the verge of a 3rd wave !

There are signs the UK is in the early stages of a third wave of coronavirus infections, a scientist advising the government has said.
Prof Ravi Gupta, from the University of Cambridge, said although new cases were "relatively low" the Indian variant had fuelled "exponential growth".
He said ending Covid restrictions in England on 21 June should be postponed.

which is on the BBC News site, but of course with every lockdown, you will get a surge after it !

To be honest, I had never heard of Professor Gupta until today.

He is today's SAGE media tart, tasked with spread gloom and doom amongst the population, and trying to panic Boris Johnson into caving in to their wishes.

I refer to the post I made earlier today about the editor of The Lancet who said that the government is waiting for data to prove that the link between cases, hospitalisations, serious illness and death has been broken, and he is of the opinion that this is the case.

Once this data becomes available, the government can have the evidence they need to back up any decision to open up and tell the SAGE scientists to <censored>
 

LAX54

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To be honest, I had never heard of Professor Gupta until today.

He is today's SAGE media tart, tasked with spread gloom and doom amongst the population, and trying to panic Boris Johnson into caving in to their wishes.

I refer to the post I made earlier today about the editor of The Lancet who said that the government is waiting for data to prove that the link between cases, hospitalisations, serious illness and death has been broken, and he is of the opinion that this is the case.

Once this data becomes available, the government can have the evidence they need to back up any decision to open up and tell the SAGE scientists to <censored>
Another new name popping out of the woodwork, who wants to be famous for 15 mins, best way of doing that is scare the population into locking all the doors and windows
 

seagull

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We've lost quite enough of our lives to something that is vastly over-exaggerated. Enough is enough.
 

davews

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SAGE seem to like that word 'exponential'. The graphs although in some areas are increasing it doesn't fit my definition of exponential.
 

liam456

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Would it ever grow in a linear way? Wouldn't it always grow at an exponential rate, just at different exponential rates?
 

Simon11

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Yes, and there was, er, ONE death reported in today's figures

Hardly a surge, is it?
Plus, if we removed the data from Bolton and local areas, I would guess that rates would be at least flat lining over the last few weeks?
 

PeterC

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With vaccination I think that the "wave" will be more of a ripple. What I do suspect is that some restrictions will continue.

Most event organisers that I know from my 10 years editing a listings magazine are currently working on the assumption that that distancing and mask restrictions will be lifted in time for the autumn season and aren't booking anything indoors before August Bank Holiday.
 

Darandio

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Go ahead and get rid of this whole nonsense. Whoever voted to impose new national restrictions please let yourself be known so you can be blocked, thanks.
 

brad465

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Based on the latest news from the WHO it's not the Indian variant but the Delta one, as they're changing it to Greek letters (on my phone so apologies for not being able to quote an article).

Personally we shouldn't be obsessing with variants like this, regardless of where they're discovered, this decision just shows how we're going too far with this.
 

Ediswan

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Based on the latest news from the WHO it's not the Indian variant but the Delta one, as they're changing it to Greek letters (on my phone so apologies for not being able to quote an article).
Nice idea, but by the time a variant becomes significant enough to be allocated a letter, it will already have acquired an informal name.
 

scrapy

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Plus, if we removed the data from Bolton and local areas, I would guess that rates would be at least flat lining over the last few weeks?
I actually think Bolton is a good example of what would happen if the rate went up across the country if there was a third wave. Rates in Bolton seem to have plateaued and are slowly decreasing. Bolton is effectively part way through a third wave. Rates went nearly as high as December, however there has been just one death in the last 3 weeks in Bolton hospital.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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I actually think Bolton is a good example of what would happen if the rate went up across the country if there was a third wave. Rates in Bolton seem to have plateaued and are slowly decreasing. Bolton is effectively part way through a third wave. Rates went nearly as high as December, however there has been just one death in the last 3 weeks in Bolton hospital.
Am I right in thinking that the poor vaccination take-up by elderly residents in certain areas of Britain that have high rates of Covid-19 has anything to do with the lack of comprehension by certain parts of the population in those areas of what vaccination entails and "fear of the unknown".

I note you state "just one death" above, but was it not the case that prior to the second rise in all cases of infection and deaths, those statistical figures were also very low.
 

bramling

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As we all know, the Indian Variant is causing a lot of concern regarding the lifting of restrictions on June 21st. Even though early evidence suggests that existing vaccines work well against this variant, politicians and scientists are suggesting that the final easing of restrictions should be delayed for a few weeks just to be certain.



While I can understand why people are concerned about this variant, the fact that so many people have now been vaccinated would make you like to think that a new wave will not cause a mass influx of hospital admissions and deaths. Also allowing the virus to spread amongst the healthy population will ensure that there is enough immunity around in time for winter, therefore I believe that the easing on June 21st should go ahead as planned.

Remove all restrictions. I'm sick of the current halfway house, and it's time we moved on now. If we don't, there's going to be a constant stream of "reasons" why we still need restrictions, and we're never going to break out of this and move forwards.
 

duncanp

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I actually think Bolton is a good example of what would happen if the rate went up across the country if there was a third wave. Rates in Bolton seem to have plateaued and are slowly decreasing. Bolton is effectively part way through a third wave. Rates went nearly as high as December, however there has been just one death in the last 3 weeks in Bolton hospital.

I think this is why the government is waiting until June 14th before making a decision.

It wants data that show to what extent the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths has been broken.

If the number of cases rises as high as previously, but there are many fewer hospitalisations and deaths, then COVID-19 is no longer a material threat to the NHS, and it can be managed in the same way as seasonal flu.

Worth noting that the UK's COVID alert level is still at 3, and has not been raised as a result of the Indian variant, which is a good sign.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Remove all restrictions. I'm sick of the current halfway house, and it's time we moved on now. If we don't, there's going to be a constant stream of "reasons" why we still need restrictions, and we're never going to break out of this and move forwards.
If Jair Balsonaro gets to hear of your posting, a trip may well be arranged for you to visit Brazil and you will be offered a high post in their Ministry of Information and a seat on the board of a few logging companies.

But don't forget 23rd June is the 5th anniversary of the EU referendum and demonstrations are being called for.
Will that favourite chant of "The people, united, will never be defeated" ring out in loud tones.... <D

Go ahead and get rid of this whole nonsense. Whoever voted to impose new national restrictions please let yourself be known so you can be blocked, thanks.
I remember watching a Monty Python film quite some years ago, where Eric Idle was pushing his truck along shouting "Bring out your dead"
 
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Class 33

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We've put up with all this nonsense for far too long now. This is bloody ridiculous, it really is. Every day I check the news websites there's headlines such as "Far too early to release restriction, say top experts", "21st June easing must be delayed by a few months, say top scientists.". Absolute nutters these people are with the nonsense they come up with. I'm absolutely sick to the back teeth of the lot of them. And shame on the press and media for keep airing/publishing their nonsense every day.

We'll put up with this until 21st June. But that must really be it. Then it is time to get rid of ALL of this stupid nonsense. Social distancing, face mask wearing, "the rule of six", track and trace, self-isolate, etc, etc. The lot of it must go.

If Johnson gives into these nutters and delays it by a month or two, when it nears the end of that period they'll then go and come up with more reasons/excuses as to why it must be delayed, such as "We need a few more weeks to see the data", "Another variant of concern has arrived", etc. We just can't go on like this. 21st Just get rid of all this nonsense once and for all, and back to normal.
 
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