The UK is “very likely” to ease Covid measures and people will be able to go back to life “as it was before Covid” on July 19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.
The easing of lockdown measures in the UK was pushed back by four weeks from June 21 amid concerns over the spread of the Delta variant.
“Although there are some encouraging signs and the number of deaths and hospitalisations remains low — though both are going up a bit — we are seeing an increase in cases,” Johnson was quoted as saying by the BBC.
“So we think it’s sensible to stick to our plan to have a cautious but irreversible approach, use the next three weeks or so really to complete as much as we can of the vaccine rollout.
“And then with every day that goes by, it’s clearer to me and all our scientific advisers that we’re very likely to be in a position on July 19 to say that we can go back to life as it was before Covid as far as possible,” he noted.
Britain has reported another 18,270 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, the highest since early February, and 23 coronavirus-related deaths, according to official figures released on Saturday.
The government’s decision on lifting measures is based on the progress of the UK’s vaccine rollout.
According to latest figures, across the UK, 44 million people — or 84.1 per cent of adults — have had their first jab and more than 32 million people — 61.6 per cent of the adult population — have had their second dose, the BBC said.
“I want to see the restrictions lifted and life going back to normal as quickly as possible. That is my absolute priority. I want to see those restrictions lifted as soon as we can,” New Health Secretary Sajid Javid was quoted as saying.