UK Extends Lockdown by Another 4 Weeks Over “Delta Variant” Feared

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson extended the UK’s controversial COVID-19 lockdown for four more weeks Monday, citing concerns about the “Delta” COVID mutant first coming out of India. The PM said the delay would allow British adults more hours to be vaccinated.

“It is reasonable to wait just a little bit,” the PM said as he admitted that the government was concerned that the link between COVID and hospitalizations “had not been severed.”

The remaining steps of the lockdown will now end on July 19, according to BoJo. Previously, the measures would end on June 21, a day considered by the government as “Independence Day”. However, the UK will have to wait another month, as BoJo said on Monday, so that the country’s healthcare infrastructure is well prepared for any further acceleration of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Johnson acknowledged it was a “difficult choice,” but he wanted to give the NHS “a few more crucial weeks” to get strengths into people’s arms. He said the opening now could create “a real risk that the virus will outweigh the vaccine” and thousands more could die.

There are exceptions to the extension: weddings and funerals can still go on with more than 30 guests provided they remain in the area of ​​social isolation. And pilot events like Euro 2020 and some theater performances will continue.

Eventually, Britons will have to “learn to live with” COVID-19, according to Johnson.

In response to the delay, General Secretary Paul Fleming called on the government to introduce grants for areas that cannot be opened at full capacity.

“They have more than a year to protect the industry that first closed and reopened last. Not raising the risk of permanent damage to our economy, global stance and, more importantly, the art and entertainment audience can be accessed, “he said.

The UK recorded 7.7K new cases on Monday, with three deaths within 28 days from a positive test. The 7-day average of new cases is up 46% compared to the previous seven days.

Readers can view the full presser below:

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