Boris Johnson has confirmed that the lifting of lockdown restrictions in England will be delayed by up to four weeks.
Ministers had hoped to end lockdown restrictions on 21 June, but rising cases of the Delta variant mean that restrictions are now not set to be lifted until 19 July.
Some restrictions will though ease on 21 June, with the 30 person limit for weddings, wakes and receptions set to be scrapped and replaced by rules decided by each individual venue that comply with social distancing requirements.
Speaking during a Downing Street press conference on Monday, Mr Johnson said;
“We can simply keep going with all of Step 4 on 21 June, even though there is a real possibility that the virus wil outrun the vaccines and that thousands more deaths would ensue which could otherwise have been avoided.
“Or else we can give the NHS a few more crucial weeks to get those remaining jabs into the arms of those who need them.”
While some have supported the extension of restrictions amid the backdrop of rapid rises in cases, some, including many Conservative MPs and industry leaders, have expressed their dismay about restrictions not being dropped on 21 June.
The Government is set to review the proposed extension on 5 July, and could cut it short at that point.
It is believed MPs will get a chance to vote on whether to approve the extension.