Boris Johnson extends England's COVID restrictions to curb variant spread
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday delayed "freedom day", when the U.K. was set end pandemic-related restrictions, to July 19 instead of June 21, as the delta COVID-19 variant continues to spread, the Washington Post reports.
The big picture: The delay is likely an attempt to get more people vaccinated, especially with their second dose, before reopening fully, writes the Post. Restrictions on sporting events, bars, nightclubs and movie theaters will stay in place, and people will be asked to continue working from home if possible.
- "I think it is sensible to wait just a little longer," Johnson said at a news conference on Monday. "As things stand, and on the evidence that I can see right now, I'm confident that we will not need more than four weeks."
State of play: 41 million people in Britain have gotten the first dose of the vaccine; 30 million are fully vaccinated.
- Health Minister Edward Argar told Sky News Monday that cases of the delta variant have jumped from 12,000 to 40,000 in a week.
- An estimated 90% of new cases in Britain are from the variant, per the Post.
The Guardian wrote Monday that delaying Freedom day “could keep thousands out of hospital.”