England's June 21 lockdown end date 'could be delayed until July 5'
7 June 2021, 11:00
A report has suggested that the government are considering pushing back the June 21 date.
Government ministers are said to be looking into delaying lockdown-easing in England from June 21 to July 5.
According to a report by the Telegraph, rules on face masks, social distancing and advice on working from home are unlikely to be lifted on the planned date of June 21 due to concern over variants of Covid-19.
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While nothing has been confirmed, ministers are reportedly looking into Monday July 5 as a new proposed date, which is two weeks after June 21.
Insiders have said that the decision will be made based to data on the Delta variant, with a source telling the Telegraph: "The scientists are more in favour of a two-week extension and that is certainly one of the options that has been put in the papers for ministers."
The report comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that the government is 'open' to delaying the June 21 date.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, he said: "We are absolutely open to doing that if that's what needs to happen. We said in the roadmap that June 21 is the date by which we would not take Step 4 before that date and that we would look at the data.
"That is exactly what we are doing, so the roadmap was set up in order to be able to take these sort of changes into account."
The final stage of lockdown-easing would see all legal limits on social contact removed, and the return of nightclubs, large events, and normal weddings.
The government has said that it will decide whether to go ahead with the date in a week's time.