UK Coronavirus LIVE: UK closes in on 100,000 deaths milestone amid alarm over new variants

Michael Howie,Anthony France and April Roach
·1 min read

The government is resisting called from the British Medical Association for the gap between vaccine doses to be reduced to six weeks.

In a private letter to Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, the BMA said the current plans of people waiting up to 12 weeks for a second dose - which Health Secretary Matt Hancock said is supported by data from an Israeli study - are "difficult to justify".

However, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick later rejected the call, saying the government’s experts have said was that “ensuring that someone is vaccinated for the second jab within 12 weeks is fine”.

Meanwhile, scientists have said there can be no early easing of the lockdown after Boris Johnson revealed there was evidence the mutant coronavirus strain that emerged in the south-east of England may be more deadly than the original strain.

Ministers will on Monday discuss whether to bring in hotel quarantines for UK arrivals amid concern over the emergence of new strains.