The Prime Minister reiterated the warnings given on Friday that we should all be aware of what is happening in Europe and be prepared for what the third wave of the pandemic there, could come here.
But given that 27,630,970 people had their first vaccine and 2,228,772 had both, do we really have to worry?
The answer is yes. For two reasons.
First, there is no doubt that the vast majority of people at serious risk of contracting the disease have had their first vaccination, but four and a half million adults in priority groups have not yet received it and there are 21 million under 50 unprotected.
Any increase in cases will affect these people, and as a scientist told me on Friday, a lot of people don’t know they are vulnerable until they catch Covid and get very sick.
In fact, around 14,000 people under the age of 50 have been hospitalized and there have been around 400 deaths in this age group. It is not a small number.
The other consideration is that the vaccine is not 100%. There will always be a minority group of people for whom the injection does not work and who are still at risk of contracting the disease.
We cannot simply ignore the fact that there will still be a number of people, no matter how small, who will fall seriously ill.
That is why we have to be aware, keep the roadmap under review and be very careful ourselves.
The second reason why we should not be content with Europe’s third wave is that there are, we are told, pockets of South African variant across Europe.
In France, some of these clusters have a really quite high number of this variant.
Most of the cases, between 70% and 80%, in Europe are the Kent variant, so the South African variant could not really take hold, but of course there is concern here that any spread of cases from Europe could cause the problem. Variant of South Africa with it.
A top government science adviser said on Friday it was the variant most likely to have some resistance to the vaccine, which could cause problems even among the vaccinated population.
All of this comes just as the immunization schedule is set to slow significantly here due to supply issues and as the lockdown begins to ease further.
There will undoubtedly be an increase in cases once society starts to open up again and what we don’t want to spread from Europe at that time.
The UK, despite our incredible vaccination program, is still in a very precarious position and it would not take much for things to start going wrong again.
Nobody wants more lockdowns and more cases and that is why we need to be very aware of what is happening on the continent.