UK lockdown: MP warns of 'disappointment' if lifting delayed
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Under Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, the Prime Minister hoped to end restrictions on June 21. However, due to concerns over the spread of the Delta variant first identified in India, the easing of measures could be put on hold.
The Delta variant now accounts for nine in ten cases of COVID-19 in the UK.
According to the Times, ministers are considering delaying restrictions to give businesses “certainty” and allow more time for people to receive two doses of a vaccine.
Plans are being discussed for either a two or four-week delay to the final stage of Mr Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown.
Ministers are worried that a two-week delay would not give businesses enough certainty as it might have to be extended further.
However, a four-week delay would ensure that more people in their forties receive two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine with time for the jabs to take effect.
A source told the Times: “This is about giving people certainty.
“The worst-case scenario is that we ease restrictions and then have to implement them again.
“This has to be a one-way ticket.”
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However, another cabinet source argued that a two-week delay would be sufficient.
They told the publication: “By June 21 everyone over 50 who wants a second jab should have had one.
“You just have to wait another couple of weeks so that they all have full antibody protection. At that point you really have protected the vulnerable.
“Of course there are businesses that want us to stick with June 21 but when Rishi [Sunak] is letting it be known he’d be happy with a delay you know the argument is already over.”
On Thursday, the UK reported 7,393 new COVID-19 cases and seven more coronavirus related deaths in the latest 24-hour period.
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