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Lockdown delay could see measures last until SPRING, warns minister | UK | News

Boris Johnson is set to make an announcement about the planned June 21 reopening on Monday. But the Prime Minister and Government officials have not ruled out delaying an end to restrictions due to a surge of Delta variant cases, a strain which first emerged in India.

Government ministers have warned any delay to the end of lockdown would only leave a “very short window to open up” the country.

A senior minister believes lockdown restrictions must be lifted before September, as experts predict a surge in cases and hospitalisations.

Figures published by Public Health England (PHE) showed that 42,323 cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed in the UK – an increase of 240 percent from last week.

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) data published on Friday showed the estimated Covid reproduction “R” number in England has risen to between 1.2 and 1.4

READ MORE: Boris Johnson warning: UK faces 100,000 Covid cases every 24 hours

Speaking to the Telegraph, a senior minister said they were “worried” any delay in ending lockdown would mean no freedom until next year.

They told the outlet: “I am very worried the people who want to keep us shut down now want us to keep us shut down permanently and are aiming for ‘zero Covid’.

“Once you start delaying to the spring you’re making this type of control of people’s lives semi-permanent.”

Steve Baker, the deputy chairman of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) of Conservative MPs, also told the outlet: “It is increasingly clear that the modellers are our masters now.

“Boris Johnson will need to be extremely careful he doesn’t allow them to lead us into a lockdown that lasts all winter.”

On Saturday afternoon, the Prime Minister was informed on the latest transmission and hospitalisation.

On Sunday, Mr Johnson will meet with the Covid-O group of ministers, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The group is expected to agree plans to delay the June 21 reopening.

Speaking in Cornwall on Saturday, Mr Johnson said: “We are seeing some worrying stuff in the data, clearly.

“We are seeing the Delta variant causing an increase in cases, we are seeing an increase in hospitalisations.”

DON’T MISS…

Saturday saw another 7,738 cases and 12 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test recorded.

So far, the UK has seen 4,558,494 cases and 127,869 deaths.

Saturday also saw another 202,846 first doses and 285,513 second doses of coronavirus vaccine administered.

In total, the UK has administered 41,291,331 first doses and 29,450,653 second doses of Covid vaccine, equalling 78.4 percent and 55.9 percent respectively.





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