England will delay the easing of coronavirus restrictions tentatively scheduled for June 21 for four weeks. The government in recent months has drawn up a roadmap that provides for the removal of almost all restrictions next Monday, thanks to the good results obtained from the vaccination campaign. A new increase in infections, especially due to Coronavirus spread in a delta-changing country (B1.617.2)However, it made the government change its mind.
The decision will be officially made at 6 pm local time (7 pm in Italy) by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is returning to London from the NATO summit in Brussels, but BBC He writes that his cabinet ministers have already decided to delay easing restrictions, and Johnson himself has said in recent days that the government would act “cautiously” in deciding whether to reopen due to the widespread use of the delta variable in the country, also known as the “Indian” variant.
On the basis of the initial programs For the government, as of June 21, the limit on people who could be invited home should have been removed; Bars, clubs, theaters, and cinemas would have operated without their capacity limits; There will be no further restrictions on the number of people who can attend sporting events in stadiums; It was possible to reopen discos and there was no limit on the number of people who could attend weddings (the limit is currently 30 people). Other UK countries will ease restrictions on their own: Scotland will do so on June 28, Northern Ireland on June 21 and Wales on June 25.
The decision to delay reopening is due to the fact that cases in the UK have been increasing steadily since the beginning of June, and last week it was at a rate of 6,000 cases per day per 68 million inhabitants, three times the number of cases in the UK. About 2,000 cases per day were recorded in May. 7,490 new cases were recorded on Sunday. The most serious cases have been found among people who are not immunized or among people who have received only one dose of the vaccine. On the other hand, deaths are still very low, within a few days, and have been stable for more than a month: the virus in fact spreads mainly in younger groups, where vaccination coverage is lower, and who are less likely to develop serious complications.
Day Public health data for England, a government agency of the UK Department of Health, found that the delta variant currently causes 90% of infections in the UK, up from the beginning of May it was only 25%. Two studies from Public Health England Note Moreover, the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines have 33% efficacy against the Delta variant after the first dose, while they are 50% efficacy against the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), the so-called English variant, always after the first dose. .
Currently in the UK, 61 percent of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 44 percent have also received the second dose (in Italy about 50% and about 22%, respectively). In government plans by waiting four weeks to relax all restrictions and maintain current vaccination rates, about 10 million second doses could be given.