THE LAST coronavirus restrictions to be eased on June 21, dubbed “Freedom Day”, are set to be delayed to July 19, The Sun can reveal.
Until July 19, social distancing will continue to be in place, masks are still compulsory on public transport, the rule of six is still in place indoors and nightclubs still cannot open.
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Boris Johnson is set to announce the delay on Monday evening[/caption]
It comes as fresh concern grows about the Delta variant, is twice as likely to cause hospitalisation and found to a fuel 90% rise in cases.
There were a further 7,393 confirmed cases yesterday.
Under plans drawn up to be announced on Monday, a two-week review will be included meaning Covid restrictions could be dropped on 5 July if hospitalisations stay down.
But multiple sources told the Sun the chances of lifting restrictions as planned on June 21 were close to zero – in a massive blow to Wembley hosting of the Euros.
What has Boris Johnson said?
Boris Johnson is set to address the nation on Monday evening after making his final decision.
But sources have already hinted step 4 of the lockdown roadmap will be pushed a month after a surge in Covid cases.
Whitehall sources involved in planning for the delay, point to the fact that all UK adults will have been offered at least one jab by the end of July, with short delay considered far better than having to u-turn and reintroduce restrictions.
One source said: “The last thing they need is a hokey cokey of in out, in out of restrictions.
“No one wants to go backwards, and we have to get this right first go.”
When will lockdown end?
Lockdown is expected to end on July 19.
The delay to end lockdown will allow authorities to work out if the vaccination rollout really means hospitalisations can stay low despite rising cases.
It will also give extra time for millions more people to be double jabbed in the UK.
This comes after worrying research suggests the latest Covid variant more than doubles risk of hospitalisation.
What are the current rules and restrictions?
Social distancing is still in place, masks are still compulsory on public transport, the rule of six is still in place indoors and nightclubs still cannot open.
Hotels and B&Bs are open, and would-be holidaymakers dreaming of a sunshine break are be able to take overseas trips, with the addition of having to quarantine coming back from red and amber-listed countries.
Indoor entertainment and attractions are open – and groups can head to the pub and sit inside.
Indoor exercise classes are open, and those less active can finally head to cinemas and museums.
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RAY OF LIGHT
We SHOULD come out of lockdown on June 21 according to NHS hospital data
Theatre and concert performances – along with sports events – can allow 1,000 people, or 50 per cent of the venue’s capacity – whichever is lower – to start again.
Under the current rules, weddings and receptions can still go ahead with 30 people.
The rules are different for funerals. Rather than having a strict limit, the capacity is determined by how many people places of worship or funeral homes can safely have inside while mourners are social distancing.