The UK could be at the start of a third wave of coronavirus, according to an infectious diseases expert.
Professor Andrew Hayward, from University College London, said he was “very concerned” about the Indian variant due to its super spreading abilities.
Asked on BBC Breakfast if the country was at the start of the third wave, he said: “I think so.”
Prof Hayward said that the UK should not “waste the opportunity” offered by vaccination by allowing people to travel widely.
“I think what we can see is that this strain can circulate very effectively,” the professor, who is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said.
“Although it was originally imported through travel to India, it’s spread fairly effectively, first of all within households and now more broadly within communities.
“So I don’t really see why it wouldn’t continue to spread in other parts of the country.”
No10 said it was “still too early” to determine whether the Indian variant could delay lifting of all Covid restrictions on June 21.
However there had “not been any significant changes” in the past 24 hours, it added.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “At the moment we are keeping a very close eye on the data. There is still, similar to yesterday, not been any significant changes that currently suggest we need to change our course of action.”
Speaking in a personal capacity about the Indian variant, Prof Hayward said he was “very concerned” with fears largely arising from the fact the virus is more transmissible.