The Latest: Easing of COVID restrictions delayed in England
LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that the next planned relaxation of coronavirus restrictions in England will be delayed by four weeks until July 19 as a result of the spread of the delta variant.
In a press briefing Monday, Johnson said he is “confident that we won’t need more than four weeks” as millions more people get fully vaccinated against the virus, which could save thousands of lives.
He said it is “sensible to wait just a little longer” and that “now is the time to ease off the accelerator.”
Johnson said the government’s aim is that by July 19, two-thirds of the adult population will have been double vaccinated. He also brought forward the date by which everyone over the age of 18 will be offered a first dose of vaccine from the end of July to July 19.
Under the government’s plan for coming out of lockdown, all restrictions on social contact were set to be lifted next Monday. Many businesses, particularly those in hospitality and entertainment, voiced their disappointment ahead of the official announcement.
One change that will take place is that the 30-person limit on weddings and wedding restrictions will be lifted. However, the ban on singing and dancing will remain as will social distancing requirements.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:
— As COVID-19 cases wane across US, vaccine-lagging areas still see risk
— British prime minister delays final reopening as cases rise
— Follow more of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
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