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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

Updated 18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court grants stay for indoor mask mandate — Neil Young demands Spotify take down music over vaccine misinformation — Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
Sep 29, 2021 - Health

CDC issues urgent advisory calling on pregnant people to get COVID vaccine

Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

The CDC issued "an urgent health advisory" on Wednesday urging people who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Why it matters: The CDC said it "strongly recommends" vaccination because its benefits for a pregnant person and the fetus outweigh the risks. It added that pregnant people with COVID-19 are at "increased risk" of outcomes such as preterm birth, stillbirth and admission of a newborn into the ICU.

Updated Sep 29, 2021 - World

Fumio Kishida set to be Japan's next prime minister

Fumio Kishida, former foreign minister of Japan, at his office in Tokyo this month. Photo: Shoko Takayasu/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Fumio Kishida, Japan's former foreign minister, was elected leader of the country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The 64-year-old's win in the leadership election runoff means he's set to become prime minister of the world's third-largest economy, and a key U.S. ally, after a special parliamentary session on Monday, per the Washington Post.

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