Comments from the UK PM

  • I've just spoken with Macron and we want to resolve the problems as fast as possible
  • Only about 20% of freight is affected
  • We understand our neighbours worry about the new variant but the risks of a single driver sitting in a cab in a truck is very low
  • To international partners, we understand your concerns
  • As soon as we were briefed on the new strain, we took prompt and decisive strain
  • More than 500,000 people in UK have received first vaccine dose
  • Vallance: Evidence that this can spread more rapid is clear, it's significant
  • Vallance: There's no evidence that this strain of the virus is harsher
  • Vallance: The vaccine looks as though it should be as effective
  • Vallance: Latest work strengthened confidence that this strain is more transmissible
  • Want to get schools back open 'if we possibly can'

He's certainly not downplaying the new strain.

The schools comment is also important because it's less stringent that schools will be open. It sounds like he's open to the idea of keeping them closed.