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Boris Johnson Warns Europe's Third Wave Of Coronavirus Will "Wash Up On UK Shores"

2 min read

The Prime Minister has said people should be "under no illusions" that a new wave of infections in Europe will impact the UK.

The UK is likely to "feel the effects" of a third wave of coronavirus infections spreading in Europe, the Prime Minister has warned.

France and Italy have been forced to reintroduce lockdown restrictions following a major surge in infections, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country was "now at the beginning of a third wave".

Speaking on Monday, Johnson told Sky News: "I've talked to our European friends repeatedly over the period. We're all facing the same pandemic. We all have the same problems.

"I think one thing that's worth stressing is that on the continent right now you can see sadly there is a third wave under way."

"People in this country should be under no illusions that previous experience has taught us that when a wave hits our friends, I'm afraid it washes up on our shores as well."

"I expect that we will feel those effects in due course," he added.

Johnson said the latest surge of the virus in neighbouring countries underlined the need to continue vaccinating people "as fast as we can".

"A vaccination campaign, developing vaccines, rolling them out, these are international projects and they require international cooperation," he continued.

Johnson's comments come amid a sluggish vaccination programme on the continent which has resulted in high numbers of people continuing to be hospitalised with the virus – with EU officials saying the recent surge is likely down to the spread of the more infectious Kent variant, first detected in the UK last September. 

The UK, meanwhile, has seen a drastic reduction in the number of admissions to hospital as the vaccination programme continues at pace.

The PM said he had been "reassured" that EU leaders did not "want to see blockades" on jabs being sent to the UK following a major diplomatic row over the supply of the AstraZenca vaccine.

Johnson is expected to hold a series of one-to-one phonecalls with European leaders over the coming days ahead of a crunch summit on Thursday where the bloc will discuss a potential export ban.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has repeatedly stated that the bloc could "forbid" exports of quantities of the jab produced on the continent being sent across the Channel.

Hitting back at claims that Brussels was engaging in "vaccine nationalism", she insisted that over 40 million doses had been exported from the EU to 33 countries in recent weeks, including 10 million to the UK.

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