UK News

Everything you need to know as Boris Johnson confirms England lift lockdown delayed UK News

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that the final step in ending the lockdown will be delayed – saying the move would prevent “thousands more deaths”.

It was hoped that almost all remaining lockdown rules would be removed on June 21. But they are now expected to continue for four more weeks, until July 19.

This includes rules prohibiting groups of more than six people from meeting indoors, including in private homes or premises such as pubs, if they come from more than two households.

READ MORE: Live updates as Boris Johnson confirms lockdown delayed until July 19

But speaking at a press conference in Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: “I think it makes sense to wait a little longer.”

The delay would “give the NHS that extra time” to get more people vaccinated, he said.

However, there was good news for those looking to get married, as some of the existing strict restrictions on weddings will be lifted on June 21 as scheduled.

The delay is caused by the spread of the Delta variant of Covid (sometimes known as the Indian variant), which has led to the surge in Covid-19 cases.

The government says that by July 19, all people over 40 will be offered two doses of a vaccine and that all people 18 and over will be offered at least one dose.

And that means enough people will be protected from the virus – even if it spreads quickly.

Mr Johnson said:

  • The next stage of reopening the lockdown, scheduled for June 21, had been delayed
  • A review will take place on June 28 and it is possible that the restrictions will be removed on Monday July 5 – but that is unlikely
  • The most likely outcome will be the end of restrictions on Monday, July 19, a four-week delay

The PM was hoping to proceed with what he calls “step four” of his roadmap to end the lockdown, but said this would be delayed due to the spread of the Delta variant of Covid, also known as the name of B.1.61.2.

Scientists believe this variant is between 40 and 80% more transmissible than other strains, and this has resulted in a huge increase in cases – with 8,000 infections per day, the highest since February.

In about a third of the country, Covid rates are doubling every week. And there is a 15% increase each week in the number of people admitted to hospital – but it climbs to 66% in the North West of England.

Mr Johnson said all of this meant that if the UK moved forward with Step 4 of its roadmap there would be a huge increase in the number of people needing hospital treatment.

Video upload

Video unavailable

But he said thousands more deaths can be prevented until more people are vaccinated.

He said: “I am afraid the number of intensive care units is increasing.”

The Prime Minister said: “We obviously faced a very difficult choice.”

But he admitted: “There is a real possibility that the virus will overtake vaccines and that thousands more deaths will ensue that would otherwise be prevented.”

In addition to maintaining the “rule of six”, the advice to work from home will still apply.

However, there will be some changes on July 21.

The current rules prohibiting more than 30 people from attending a wedding, wedding reception or civil partnership will be removed.

Instead, the rule will be that the number of people who can attend is based on how many people the venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.

In other words, if the venue can safely accommodate more than 30 people – maybe a lot more – then more than 30 people can attend. The current limit of 30 people for an outdoor wedding will also be removed.

However, guests will need to obey social distancing rules, including having no more than six people at the table.

Smaller marriages with 30 people or less won’t have to follow such strict social distancing rules.

Singing and dancing at weddings will also continue to be banned.

The government will also abolish a rule that residents of nursing homes who participate in an out-of-home visit, including a hospital stay, must automatically self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the care home.

And it will go ahead with plans to allow the public to attend some major events, as part of a pilot project. These include sporting and cultural events, and more details will be released in the coming days.

Mr Johnson stressed that no restrictions previously removed will not be reintroduced.

In an announcement that will be controversial, the government does not intend to extend the current leave scheme.

Plans to have companies contribute to the cost of salaries for staff on leave from July 1 will continue – even if the lockdown lasts longer than expected.

The government will need to hold a debate and a vote in parliament to expand the current restrictions. Laws allowing ministers to impose rules are currently due to …

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-06-14 17:24:34

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *