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Photo: Ben Stansall - WPA Pool/Getty Images

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."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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.”

Go deeper: Fauci sounds alarm over COVID-19 variant surging in U.K.

Go deeper

18 hours ago - Health

New York City revives vaccine passports

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New York City yesterday became the first city in the U.S. to require proof of coronavirus vaccination for indoor dining and other leisure activities, a measure popular among public health experts but previously squashed by political backlash to "vaccine passports."

Why it matters: Employers and now local governments are starting to ensure that remaining unvaccinated will have consequences for everyday life, testing the resolve of those who say nothing could persuade them to get a shot.

Germany and the U.K. to offer COVID booster shots

A syringe is filled with a dose of the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus. Photo: Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Germany and Britain have announced plans to offer a booster shot against the coronavirus starting as soon as September, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The decision to implement a booster shot reflects global concerns about protecting vulnerable populations as the Delta variant continues to spread at alarming rates.

19 hours ago - Health

America's pandemic pessimism returns

Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

A majority of Americans now, once again, say the worst of the pandemic is yet to come, per new Harris polling provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: We took a brief hiatus from worrying about the pandemic, but the Delta variant and the response to it appear to have sent us back to a dark place.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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