The easing of all restrictions on June 21 could be delayed for a month as ministers consider allowing more time for people to be fully vaccinated against Covid, reports suggest.
According to The Times, the government is currently locked in talks with the possibility of a two-week or four-week delay both being discussed.
It is thought the June 21 ‘unlocking’ would only be delayed if the Indian variant of coronavirus continues to lead to a “significant” rise in infections and hospitalisations.
But health leaders are said to have called for a delay to the June 21 ” deadline” being implemented amid concerns hospitals could start to fill up with unvaccinated patients.
The effect on businesses is also being considered.
A possible two-week delay to “Freedom Day” has been widely reported over recent days, but ministers are said to be of the opinion that such a delay would not give business owners the certainty they require as it may need to be extended.
One source told The Times that the full easing of restrictions “has to be a one-way ticket” and the feeling is that a four-week delay to lockdown fully ending would allow for most people in their 40s to receive both doses of a coronavirus vaccine, as well as allow more time for the jab to take effect.
The possibility of restrictions ending on June 21 is now reportedly “seen as increasingly unlikely”.
It comes as surge testing continues to be expanded across Kirklees in a bid to get on top of high infection rates.