A postponement till June 21 is likely, as the minister warns that we cannot “squander” our advantages.

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A postponement till June 21 is likely, as the minister warns that we cannot “squander” our advantages.

The relaxation of restrictions is likely to be delayed, as a senior minister warned that the UK must “squander” the progress made in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic.

Nadhim Zahawi, the Minister for Vaccines, spoke on GMB and stated that the government would review all data over the weekend and that Boris Johnson would make the final decision and address the country on Monday.

Mr Zahawi was questioned by Kate Garraway on the likelihood of a four-week delay in the easing of limitations.

“There was a reason for the five-week delay when we put out the roadmap; we want to see what the virus does,” he said. “The fights we’ve had to win and sacrifice against this virus have been hard fought and hard won; let’s not squander them now, that would be my very strong message.”

“The virus can only change if it has a population to infect,” Mr Zahawi continued. “Last week, we noticed a 63 percent increase in cases.” The vaccine, on the other hand, is breaking the relationship between cases and hospitalizations.

“On Monday, the data will illustrate why we are making the decisions we are making; it is critical to monitor hospitalizations and deaths.”

“It sounds like you’re preparing us for a delay, Mr Zahawi,” Ben Shephard said.

“What I’m saying to you is, let’s not waste the hard-won victories we’ve made against this infection,” Mr Zahawi replied.

“We’re still learning about it, but this Delta form is more infectious, and Public Health England experts think it’s more severe, particularly in people who haven’t been vaccinated.”

“We have to make sure we vaccinate at scale, conduct surge tests, isolate, and, of course, sequence the genome.”

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