UK proposes customs checks for food heading to NI to ease Brexit tensions Boris Johnson: Everyone must 'play their part' to beat Indian variant Vaccines appear to prevent 97 per cent of Indian variant infections Andrew Marr hints at BBC exit over impartiality frustrations Coronavirus latest news: PM's advice on hugging as lockdown eases Downing Street is no longer promising that conclusions of social distancing and Covid passports reviews will be announced this month, citing uncertainty caused by the Indian variant. The Prime Minister's official spokesman said at a briefing of political journalists this afternoon that there was no "set time" for those announcements to be made. Yet Boris Johnson had set out a time frame only last week, saying an update on whether social distancing will continue and Covid status certificates will be needed after June 21 would come later in May. The change in position reflects the new uncertainty created by a surge in the Indian variant of Covid-19, which early data suggests could be more transmissible than other variants. The Health Secretary confirmed in an address about Covid-19 to the Commons on Monday that there are now 86 local authorities where there are five or more cases of the Indian variant, and cases have more than doubled over the last week in the worst hit local authorities. He said that early evidence suggests the Indian variant is more transmissible than the previously dominant Kent variant, however he added that "we do not yet know to what extent it is more transmissible". No 10's decision to no longer pledge announcements by the end of the month will raise concerns that the June 21 unlocking could happen on a smaller scale than hoped for just a few weeks ago. Government figures have stressed that early data suggests the Covid vaccines remain effective against the Indian variant and urged people to get their two doses when eligible.