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Matt Hancock issues issues over updating plans to end the lockdown on June 21 UK News

Matt Hancock has warned that face masks and work-from-home advice could stay past the June 21 roadmap date so other Covid restrictions can be lifted.

The health secretary said it was “too early” to say whether all lockdown restrictions could be lifted in June.

Mr Hancock said that while nothing in the data suggests ‘we are definitely on the right track’ with the UK government’s plans to unlock England later this month, he insisted he was too early to say if the last step can take place.

He said further decisions would be made in the coming weeks regarding specific coronavirus rules, such as wearing masks and working from home.

The Times previously reported that ministers wanted to “prioritize” ending social distancing measures such as the rule of six and the meter plus rule, which would help the hospitality industry get back on its feet.

Amid the increase in cases and the ramp-up of the Delta variant, ministers may decide to keep less restrictive measures in place.

“Too early to make a decision” June 21

“There is nothing in the data to suggest that we are definitely on the right track, but it is too early to make a decision regarding June 21, the fourth stage of the roadmap,” Hancock said during of a press conference at the Jenner Institute in Oxford.

“We will make this decision based on more data over the next 10-day week before June 14, as we have planned.”

His comments come after Boris Johnson insisted there is “nothing in the data at the moment” to prevent the end of Covid-19 restrictions, as the proportion of deaths involving the virus has fallen to the lowest level in eight months.

But the prime minister also warned that caution should be exercised, saying there was “no question” of rising infection rates.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show 9,860 deaths from all causes recorded during the week ending May 21, and among these, 1.1% (107 deaths) had a “new coronavirus ”mentioned on the death certificate.

The last time the proportion was so low was during the week ending September 11, when the virus accounted for 1.0% of deaths, according to analysis by the PA news agency.

It was also confirmed on Wednesday that 75% of UK adults across the UK had now received their first coronavirus vaccine, and 50% of adults in England had received both doses.

“The data is still ambiguous”

Debate continues over whether the final stages of unlocking restrictions in England can take place on June 21, amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus variant first identified in India.

Mr Johnson warned: ‘We have to be so careful because there is no doubt that the ONS data on infection rates is showing an increase.

The Prime Minister said: “We always knew this was going to happen. ”

But he added: “What we need to determine is to what extent the immunization program has sufficiently protected us, especially the elderly and vulnerable, against a new wave.

“And there, I’m afraid the data is still ambiguous.”

Hancock stressed the importance of monitoring the number of people who had received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine before further easing of restrictions on June 21.

“We are constantly vigilant about the impact of this second dose,” he said.

“The critical question is, given that the vaccination order is based on your vulnerability to ending up in hospital and dying, that means second doses now cover the vast majority of those who are likely to die from Covid- 19.

“We can see that the number of cases has increased over the past two weeks, but we can also see that the vast majority of people who ended up in the hospital are not yet fully vaccinated,” he said. declared.

“The critical link is how much that link is broken and that is how we will make the decision before June 21.”

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This notice was published: 2021-06-04 06:32:00

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