Boris Johnson Plans To Delay June 21 Lockdown Lift Until JULY 19 After Delta Variant Infections Triple.
BORIS Johnson is set to delay lockdown lifting “freedom day” to July 19 after cases of the mutant Indian strain have surged by a massive 240 per cent in just a week.
Under plans drawn up to be announced on Monday, a two-week review will be included meaning Covid restrictions could be dropped on July 5 if hospitalisations stay down.
The final lockdown restrictions had been due to go on June 21, which was dubbed “freedom day”. According to The Sun, this will be pushed back to July 19, after a 240 per cent increase in Delta variant cases in just the last week.
However, Number 10 insiders said there were still no final decisions on the final stage of the roadmap. They said the Prime Minister wasn’t intending to look at the data until after the G7 summit when the full five-week review period was up.
Whitehall sources involved in planning for the delay, point to the fact that all UK adults will have been offered at least one jab by the end of July, with short delay considered far better than having to u-turn and reintroduce restrictions.
One source said: “The last thing they need is a hokey cokey of in out, in out of restrictions. “No one wants to go backwards, and we have to get this right first go.”
Public Health England (PHE) estimates that the strain is 60% more transmissible compared with the previously dominant Alpha – or Kent variant.
The Alpha variant caused the UK’s winter crisis of infections, hospital admissions and deaths. Researchers said it is “encouraging” that the huge increase in Delta variant case numbers has not yet translated into a similar increase in hospitalisations.
Delta now makes up to 96% of new cases in England.