The Indian variant situation was completely avoidable

The government’s failings on the Indian Variant has put the June 21st date at unnecessary risk

‘Don’t be an amber gambler, pleads minister, the newspaper blares. ‘Chaos amid new doubt over June 21st reopening’ reads the line below. How did we get here? Déjà vu all again, except this wasn’t supposed to happen. ‘Cautious yet irreversible’ was the term frequently used by the Prime Minister for Britain’s route out of lockdown, yet cautious as it was, the government has put us in this bleak situation again, and for what feels like the millionth time this pandemic, it could’ve been avoided. Easily.

Viruses mutate. This is common knowledge. It was the ‘Kent variant’ that drove the second wave over winter - leading Britain into another lockdown and killing thousands. So once we re-entered lockdown in January and the vaccine rollout got underway, it was probably a smart idea to learn some lessons from the first wave and close the borders to prevent not only more cases from getting in but also new variants. That’s why the opposition, the chair of the health committee in Parliament and even a petition, demanded that borders be shut in order to prevent new mutations entering the UK.