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Lockdown easing expected to be delayed by four weeks

Lockdown easing expected to be delayed by four weeks

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce later that the further easing of lockdown measures in England will be delayed by four weeks.

A four-week delay to the original 'no earlier than' date of 21 June has been widely reported in recent days, against a backdrop of the Delta variant of COVID-19 seeing cases of the virus rise across the country.

The anticipated delay will mean that restrictions on hospitality and entertainment venues will remain, and nightclubs will continue to remain closed. A small number of restrictions may change, with reports suggesting that rules for weddings may be relaxed.

The decision to delay the easing of lockdown measures will be seen by some as controversial and is expected to provoke anger among some Conservative MPs and industry leaders, especially given significant progress in tackling the pandemic through the rollout of vaccines. The Government is though expected to defend the decision, saying that there is a race between the highly transmissible Delta variant and the vaccination programme.

So far, around 78.9% of the UK's adult population have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. 

For analysis on this story, click here.

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