England’s ‘Freedom Day’ on June 21 may be delayed for two weeks by Boris Johnson, it was reported on Saturday.
According to ITV News, government sources have said that plans are being made to push the lifting of coronavirus measures back to July 5 to allow more people to get the second dose of Covid vaccinations.
‘Government sources have again stressed that no decision has been made but I understand that in private other plans are being drawn up,’ ITV’s correspondent Richard Pallot said on Saturday evening.
‘If there was a two-week delay then in theory all over 50s would get a chance of a second vaccine,’ he added.
It was reported on Friday that secret plans were being worked on to delay the lifting of measures by two weeks in addition to retaining social distancing and limits of crowds past Freedom Day.
Saturday’s report comes after a government scientist warned that pushing ahead with a full reopening later this month in England would be ‘foolish’ and a ‘major risk’, which followed Covid cases jumping by 70 per cent in a week on Saturday, reaching 5,765. However, health chief insisted vaccines do ‘break the chain’.
There is currently enough evidence to say that due to the spread of the Indian variant, one of the Government’s four key tests for its road map out of lockdown has not been met, Professor Stephen Reicher said.
Multiple reports have suggested plans to lift all restrictions on June 21 could be scaled down, with social distancing and the wearing of face coverings set to continue amid concerns that the variant that originated in India, now known as Delta, is fuelling a surge in cases.
On Friday the UK recorded its highest number of new confirmed coronavirus cases – 6,238 – since late March, according to official figures. Saturday’s figure was down slightly at 5,765 lab-confirmed cases.
Meanwhile figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested the number of people who had the virus in England has increased by around three-quarters in a week, taking it to its highest tally since mid-April, with the R value between 1 and 1.2.
Read more: The ‘Indian variant’ card that was always going to be played to break still more promises that were never intended to be kept. Psychopaths run the world and the spinelessly programmed and naïve allow it to happen – if you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got