If the lifting of coronavirus restrictions is delayed, patience will pay off, PM said.
The Government has been warned that lifting the remaining coronavirus limitations on June 21 risks an increase in cases and hospital admissions.
New numbers reveal that case rates have climbed in every region of England, prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to err on the side of caution and postpone the next stage of his road plan.
The final choice should be based on evidence, not dates, according to Jim McManus, vice-president of the Association of Directors of Public Health, who added, “Patience today will pay dividends in the long run.”
Separately, The Times says that authorities are mulling a four-week delay in the complete reopening of the UK to provide confidence to businesses and citizens.
The latest weekly surveillance report from Public Health England (PHE), released on Thursday, revealed that case rates had increased in nearly all age groups in England, with rates more than doubling among 20 to 29-year-olds, rising from 54.0 per 100,000 people in the week ending May 30 to 121.0 in the seven days leading up to June 6.
“Covid is not going away on the 21st of June, and relaxing all measures on the 21st risks undermining the substantial gains we have made,” Mr McManus added.
“Removing all restrictions on June 21st threatens not just an increase in cases and hospitalizations, but also the entry of new variations into the UK, undermining our vaccination effort and delaying our return to normalcy.
“The false choice between locking down or releasing all measures is to lock down.
“Instead, we would like to see the present measures – which went into force on May 17th – extended, as well as a postponement of the full reopening.
“This will assist to prevent a further increase in cases – especially in areas where transmission is high or long-lasting – and will give more individuals time to become vaccinated and protected against the Delta variant.”