Johnson is expected to push back the lifting of the Covid shutdown until July.
Following another dramatic surge in instances of the Delta type, Boris Johnson appears to be considering delaying the full easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England.
As they rush to give out the vaccination to younger age groups, ministers are considering delaying the relaxation of controls scheduled for June 21 for up to four weeks.
A final decision is likely on Sunday, with the Prime Minister making a formal announcement the following day at a press conference.
It comes as some scientists have warned that if limitations are loosened, the rapid spread of the Delta variation first found in India might lead to a “significant” third wave.
The British Medical Association (BMA) leaders joined calls on Friday for the final lifting to be postponed so that millions more people can benefit from the vaccine.
“With only 54.2 percent of the adult population fully vaccinated and many younger people not yet eligible, there is a huge risk that prematurely relaxing all restrictions will undo the excellent work of the vaccine program and lead to a surge of infections,” said BMA council chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul.
“It’s not only about the number of hospitalizations; it’s also about the health of a significant number of young people, who may experience long-term ailments that damage their lives and capacity to work.”
However, a postponement – maybe until July 19 – will be a harsh blow to many firms, notably those in the hotel and leisure industries, which had hoped for a full summer reopening to help recoup some of their losses from the previous year.
Nick Thomas-Symonds, Labour’s shadow home secretary, said the UK was now paying the price for governments’ reluctance to heed the warnings of its own Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).
“Any further delay in lifting limitations would be devastating to many families and companies across the country. “This is all the fault of Conservative ministers,” he remarked.
“Despite Labour’s, Sage’s, and others’ warnings, they persisted. (This is a brief piece.)