Boris Johnson confirms England's lockdown easing will be pushed back to July 19
14 June 2021, 18:19 | Updated: 14 June 2021, 18:49
Lockdown extension: the planned June 21 date will be extended by four weeks to July 19.
The fourth and final stage of England's lockdown will be pushed back to July 19, Boris Johnson confirmed today.
Speaking at a press conference from Downing Street today (Monday June 14), the Prime Minister said that the planned June 21 date will be delayed following a spike in coronavirus cases in the country due to the Delta variant.
He said that delaying the date by four weeks would 'give the NHS a few more crucial weeks to get those remaining jabs into the arms of those who need them'.
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By July 19, the government are aiming to have given two jabs to two thirds of the adult population, including everyone over 50, all frontline health workers, and everyone over 40 who received their first dose by mid-May.
Mr Johnson added that, although most lockdown measures won't be lifted on June 21, weddings will be able to go ahead without a cap on the number of guests (subject to social distancing).
Speaking about the delay of lockdown, he said that the situation will be monitored - and that there is a chance the date could be brought forward if the data allows it.
Under England's 'roadmap' out of lockdown, stage four will see all legal limits on social contact removed.
At this stage, unlimited indoor and outdoor mixing will be allowed, and large events like festivals would return.
The decision to delay the date comes after a number of calls from scientists to do so due to increasing concern over the Delta variant (first discovered in India), which is thought to be around 60 per cent more transmissible.
Health Minister Edward Argar said in a recent interview that the delay was used for "getting second doses of vaccines into people’s arms", as two vaccines give the best protection against the Delta variant.