Boris Johnson has said there is nothing “at the moment” that has persuaded him to delay England’s exit from lockdown on June 21, but he will know more in a “few days”.
Speaking at a vaccination centre in London on Tuesday, the prime minister said the government was “looking at the epidemiology the whole time”.
“I don’t see anything conclusive at the moment to say that we need to deviate from the road map,” he said. But we’ve got to be cautious.”
Johnson added: “We are keeping everything under very close observation. We’ll know a lot more in a few days’ time.”
Johnson said data from hotspots including Bolton, Blackburn, Bedford and Sefton were being examined to find out more about the impact of the variant.
If outbreaks are limited, ministers could opt instead to push ahead with the reopening while keeping some areas under restrictions in an echo of the controversial tiers system introduced in 2020.
Watch: PM optimistic on easing lockdown
Despite concerns the Indian variant is even more transmissible than the dominant Kent strain, the latest easing of lockdown restrictions went ahead as planned on Monday across most of England, Scotland and Wales.
It meant pubs and restaurants were able to welcome customers inside while people were able to socialise indoors and to hug family and friends outside their own households.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.