England Lockdown Easing To Be Delayed By Four Weeks
Government sources have said the UK’s lockdown will be extended by four weeks.
The ending of all restrictions was supposed to come into play on June 21, but it’s now thought to have been pushed back another month to July 19.
The ending of the lockdown would have seen venues such as night clubs reopen and social distancing measures no longer in place.
Senior ministers are said to have signed off on the decision to delay the easing of all restrictions. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make the announcement this evening, June 14, BBC News reports.
It’s believed the extension of the current restrictions is to prevent further lockdowns happening in the future.
The decision to push back the date comes after new variants of the virus have emerged, with the Delta variant – first identified in India – making up 90% of new cases in the UK, according to The Guardian. As of Friday, June 11, there had been more than 42,000 confirmed cases.
It’s hoped the delay will allow scientists more time to monitor this variant.
In the wake of the new data, Dr. Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, called on people to get their second vaccination. She said, ‘With numbers of Delta variant cases on the rise across the country, vaccination is our best defence.’
However, Dr. Harries added that while it reduces the risk of severe disease, having your vaccination ‘does not eliminate it’.
The delaying of the lockdown restrictions being lifted will see pubs remain limited to table service, people still being advised to work from home where possible, and theatres and other venues still being restricted to 50% capacity.
People have since expressed concerns about weddings as, under current rules, there can only be a maximum of 30 guests. However, health minister Edward Argar remains optimistic that this may still be relaxed.
He told Sky News, ‘I know that weddings and people in that situation will be very much in [the PM’s] mind at the moment and it’s one of the things he’s been looking at carefully.’
It’s also thought the PM will announce more support will be offered to businesses that will have to remain closed as a result of the delay.
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