Cabinet ministers have agreed to suspend the final lifting of all coronavirus restrictions scheduled for June 21 after a meeting on Sunday evening, according to the BBC.
Government sources told the broadcaster that most of the rules will remain in place for at least four weeks until July 21.
Boris Johnson is facing a furious backlash from Tory MPs as he prepares to suspend the final lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England, reports Wales Online.
The move follows warnings from scientists that the rapid spread of the Delta variant first identified in India risks a “substantial” third wave if allowed to spread unchecked.
According to the most recent data, there are now nearly 100 cases of the Delta variant, first identified in India, in Teesside.
There are 52 cases in Stockton and 40 in Middlesbrough – while just weeks ago only North Tyneside in the northeast had confirmed cases.
Mr Johnson is expected to call on the public to be patient, with a last ditch effort to ensure that when the checks finally end, they will be ‘irreversible’.
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However, this is a huge setback for many companies – especially in the struggling hospitality sector – who had placed their hopes in a full summer reopening to recoup some of last year’s losses.
There was deep frustration among lockdown skeptics on Tory benches who said there was no reason not to end restrictions as those most at risk of death or serious illness are now fully vaccinated.
Former Minister Mark Harper, chairman of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) of Conservative MPs, said any postponement would be a “political choice.”
He warned that if the unlock didn’t go as planned, restrictions could continue through fall and winter as other respiratory infections worsen.
“The effectiveness of our vaccines in preventing hospitalization means that the June 21 unlock could be done safely. Any decision to delay will be a political choice, ”he said.
“Variants and mutations will appear for the rest of the time. We have to learn to live with it.
“If our highly effective vaccines can’t free us from the restrictions, then nothing ever will. “
Mr Johnson is expected to make the official announcement at a press conference on Monday evening after returning to Downing Street after the NATO summit in Brussels.
After hosting the G7 summit in Cornwall over the weekend, the Prime Minister reportedly spent Sunday evening reviewing the latest data with ministers and senior officials most closely involved in the process.
Mr Johnson’s so-called ‘quad’, Chancellor and MP for North East Rishi Sunak, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Cabinet Minister Michael Gove were reportedly briefed by Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Science Officer Sir Patrick. Vallance.
The latest daily government figures on Sunday showed a further rise in infections with a further 7,490 laboratory-confirmed cases in the UK – up 2,149 from the figure of 5,341 the week before.
The data also had England with a total of 35,971 positive tests in the past seven days at a rate of 63.9 per 100,000 people.
British ministers, meanwhile, insisted they remained on track to secure an offer of a second dose of the vaccine – which offers significantly better protection against the Delta variant than a single jab – to every over 50 years by June 21.
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said this weekend that he wanted to use this extra time to double millions of young people.
He said that even though the vaccines had weakened the link between infections and hospital admissions, they wanted to be sure it was “cut and broken.”
The cautious approach was, he said, necessary to ensure that the unlock was “irreversible” and that they did not have to “yo-yo in and out of the measures.”