The current Covid figures are “evidence of another wave appearing,” the former chief scientific adviser to the Government and chairman of the Independent Sage Group has said.
Sir David King told Sky News there had been discussions about “whether or not we're going into a serious third wave and I don't think we can possibly wait any longer”.
"This is the evidence of another wave appearing."
He pointed to the UK reporting 5,341 new Covid cases on Sunday up by around 2,000 from last week.
On Saturday, government data showed that Covid cases were up 70 per cent in a week.
Sir David also warned the Government to consider delaying the end to lockdown in just two weeks time.
“I’m very reluctant to say that we should not go out of lockdown on June 21, but I think the figures are in now, and it will be wise for the Government to announce right away a delay in opening, just so that we can all plan for the post-June 21 period.”
Asked for how long, he said: “I would give a few weeks’ delay and see how the fingers are emerging.
“So, I don’t know how long.
“As the Prime Minister has said, it’s data, not dates, that we should be governed by, and that’s response as well.”
He also challenged the Government directly over whether they were pursuing herd immunity amongst school children and to be honest with the public about the policy.
“Are the Government actually believing in herd immunity in schoolchildren, is that why they are telling them to take masks off so the disease spreads rapidly and they all become immune by having the disease. If that is the policy shouldn’t we be honest with the public and tell them that is the policy?
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the Delta variant had made the decisions behind the June 21 unlocking “more difficult”.
Speaking on Sky News on Sunday, Mr Hancock confirmed that the new strain is 40 per cent more transmissible than the Kent variant.