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Boris urged NOT to delay unlocking Britain on June 21 as Indian Covid variant fears soar

UK lockdown: MP warns of 'disappointment' if lifting delayed

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Next week, the Prime Minister will announce the Government’s decision on lifting all restrictions in England but it is feared he may delay the date amid fears over the Delta variant. Despite ramping up the vaccine rollout, ministers are believed to have been given a downbeat assessment of the data.

Cabinet met this week to discuss measures but, according to inside reports, Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty put forward a plan to delay the lockdown by two weeks due to the variant.

An Express.co.uk poll – which ran from 11.15am on Tuesday to 9.30am yesterday – asked: “Should Boris delay June 21 ‘Freedom Day’ due to panic over new wave?”

Out of 4,707 votes, 58 percent (2,707) urged the Prime Minister not to delay reopening the restrictions.

In the close poll, 42 percent (1,954) said lockdown should be extended while only one percent (46) said they don’t know.

One Express.co.uk reader said: “If the lifting of restrictions are put off for two weeks it’ll be just in time for the next variant to spring up.

“Time to live with it and get with life.”

Someone else added: “No delay – I for one will not be following any more rules after the 21st.”

Another reader said “restrictions must end” as the vaccine has “done its job”.

A fourth person commented: “Despite the latest variants, the hospitalisations aren’t increasing in the same way as before.

“This is clearly due to the vaccines.

“The message that we should wait for longer, past the 21st June, seems unduly cautious to me.

“Pretty much all the vulnerable people have been vaccinated twice and more than 75 percent of the adult population have had one jab.

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“Although it seems clear infection rates are increasing rapidly at present, I hope this doesn’t sway the Government too much.

“It is deaths and the possibility of overwhelming the NHS that is more important and neither of those factors, seem to be a major issue at present.

“Variants have been planned for and no doubt there will be another round of vaccinations in the next few months.”

One person, in support of delaying restrictions, said: “I don’t know why so much time and energy is wasted on this issue for the sake of a couple of weeks until things are more clear.”

Someone else said: “Another two weeks won’t hurt to give the vaccines given lately a chance to get the immune system going.

“Better than another surge.”

Another reader added: “Delaying by two weeks won’t hurt anyone, make it the 4th July!”

According to The Times, the Government’s chief advisers warned the transmission rate of the variant is much quicker than first expected.

They also concluded, vaccinations do not provide 100 percent protection as millions remain unvaccinated across the country.

It is thought the Government may be forced to retain some restrictions moving past June 21 in order to try and curb the spread of infection.

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