It is being reported across the media – so it’s clearly been briefed out by Downing Street – that the long-awaited June 21st reopening is to be delayed by at least four weeks because the Prime Minister has been convinced by his scientific advisers that the recent rise in the Delta variant makes reopening too risky. The Telegraph has the story.
June 21st will no longer herald a full return to normality after Boris Johnson resigned himself to a delay of up to four weeks in lifting the remaining Covid restrictions.
The Prime Minister will tell the country on Monday that the latest data on the spread of the Indian or Delta virus variant means it is too risky to go ahead as planned. A four-week delay would mean pushing the date back to July 19th.
It had been hoped that weddings at least would be given a special dispensation after 50,000 couples – many of whom will have cancelled or delayed earlier celebrations – booked ceremonies for the four weeks following what had been billed as “freedom day”.
But senior government sources said that while Mr Johnson might increase the current 30-person limit at weddings, restrictions on numbers would have to remain after officials from Matt Hancock’s health department warned that they could become “super-spreader” events.
The British Medical Association became the latest body to call for a delay after data released on Friday showed the ‘R’ rate at its highest since January – between 1.2 and 1.4 – with daily cases reaching 8,125, the highest number since February.
Figures published by Public Health England showed that 42,323 cases of the Indian variant have been confirmed in the UK – an increase of 240% from last week. PHE estimates that the strain is 60% more transmissible than the Kent or alpha variant, with cases doubling every four and a half days in some parts of England.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) is understood to have warned the Government that a third wave of Covid cases could exceed the first wave peak if the June 21st reopening were to go ahead as planned.
Worth reading in full.
Florida has been open since September 2020. Texas reopened in March. But this delay means the U.K. won’t be open until at least July 19th. I’d like to say the Prime Minister will suffer the consequences at the polls for continuing to keep the electorate under extreme restrictions, ignoring the plain evidence from the U.S. that reopening is safe, as well as the overwhelming evidence that lockdowns don’t reduce transmission. But we all know most of our fellow citizens will buy the fear they’re sold and lap up the lockdown, and likely reward the Conservatives at the next election for keeping them “safe”.
The Covid tyranny continues. 😡
Stop Press: The Sun is reporting that there will be a two-week “break clause” on July 5th and if infections are falling and hospitalisations are low, restrictions could be eased. Yeah, right.