The Sun revealed that the latest coronavirus restrictions to be eased on June 21, dubbed Freedom Day, are expected to be pushed back to July 19.
Until July 19, social distancing will continue, masks are still mandatory on public transport, the rule of six remains in effect indoors, and nightclubs remain not open.
🔵 Read the live coronavirus blog for the latest updates
It comes as new concerns grow about the delta variant, which is more than twice as likely to cause hospitalizations and has led to a 90% increase in cases.
There were another 7,393 confirmed cases yesterday.
As part of detailed plans to be announced on Monday, a two-week review will be included, meaning Covid restrictions could be lifted on July 5 if hospitalizations continue.
But multiple sources told The Sun that the odds of lifting restrictions as planned on June 21 were close to zero – a blow to European Championship host Wembley.
What did Boris Johnson say?
Boris Johnson is expected to address the nation on Monday evening after making his final decision.
But sources have already hinted that phase 4 of the lockdown roadmap will be postponed a month after the Covid cases surge.
Sources in Whitehall involved in planning the delay suggest that all UK adults will have at least one hit by the end of July, with a short delay seen as much better than having to turn around and re-impose restrictions.
A source said: “The last thing they need is hockey outside, within the restrictions.
“No one wants to go back, and we have to do it right first.”
When will the closure end?
Containment is expected to end on July 19.
The delay in ending the lockdown will allow authorities to determine if the start of vaccination really means hospitalization can remain low despite the surge in cases.
It will also give millions more time to receive a double bite in the UK.
It comes after alarming research suggests the latest form of Covid more than doubles the risk of hospitalization.
What are the current rules and restrictions?
Social distancing is still in place, masks are still mandatory on public transport, the rule of six still applies indoors, and nightclubs are still not available.
Hotels and guest houses are open and future vacationers dreaming of a sun holiday can travel abroad, in addition to having to self-isolate upon return from the countries on the red and orange lists.
Indoor entertainment and attractions are open – groups can head to the pub and sit inside.
Indoor exercise classes are open and the less active can finally head to the cinemas and museums.
Theatrical performances and concerts – as well as sporting events – can allow 1,000 people, or 50% of the hall capacity – whichever is smaller – to start over.
Under current rules, weddings and receptions can still be held with up to 30 people.
The rules are different for funerals. Rather than a strict limit, capacity is determined by the number of people that houses of worship or funeral homes can be safely inside their homes during grueling social distancing.