Boris Johnson is considering delaying the next stage of lockdown easing by up to four weeks, according to reports.
The next, and final, stage of the UK roadmap out of lockdown was set for no earlier than June 21.
The Prime Minister is due to make a decision on whether this can go ahead on Monday, June 14 – just a week before many major remaining restrictions are set to be lifted.
However, the government is facing pressure to delay ‘freedom day’ as it has became known due to infection rates surging across the country.
Tthe Times reported in Thursday night that Mr Johnson is considering pushing back the lockdown easing by as much as four weeks, with Rishi Sunak reportedly accepting a delay in the roadmap.
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The newspaper reports that plans are being discussed for either a two-week or four-week delay thanks to the spike of the Delta variant, which accounts for 91 per cent of new cases in the country.
It says scientific advisers believe a month-long delay would allow vaccinations to ‘catch up’ with the Delta strain and bring easing in line with the school holidays, however it is believed the current 30-guest limit on weddings would be lifted even if the roadmap date was pushed back.
It comes after Jim McManus, vice-president of the Association of Directors of Public Health, said data – and not dates – should be behind the final decision, adding: “Patience now will pay off in the long run.”
The latest weekly surveillance report from Public Health England (PHE), published on Thursday, showed case rates had risen in nearly all age groups in England and more than doubled among 20 to 29-year-olds, going from 54.0 per 100,000 people in the week ending May 30 to 121.0 in the seven days to June 6.
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