Monday, June 14, 2021

UK lockdown orders extended until July 19

Covid: Lockdown easing in England to be delayed by four weeks | BBC News - Becky Morton & Joseph Lee:

June 14, 2021 - "Most coronavirus rules will remain in place in England for another four weeks after the planned 21 June unlocking, government sources have told the BBC. Senior ministers have signed off on the decision to delay the lifting of all legal restrictions on social contact. That could mean capacity limits for sports, pubs and cinemas will remain, and nightclubs would stay closed.

"Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to confirm the delay at a news conference later - at 18:00 BST. The extension will be put to a Commons vote this month and could trigger a sizeable Conservative backbench rebellion."

"England was due to move to stage four of the government's roadmap out of lockdown on 21 June, when venues and events would be allowed to operate without capacity limits and the cap on guests at weddings would be lifted. It would also have meant an end to the current rules which limit gatherings at home to six people or two households.

"But many scientists have called for the reopening to be delayed to enable more people to be vaccinated and receive second doses, amid rising cases of the Delta variant. A delay would also allow more work to be done on whether vaccines are breaking, or simply weakening, the link between infections and hospitalisations....

"All areas of Scotland are due to move to Level Zero Covid restrictions on 28 June - meaning bigger groups can gather in caf├ęs, pubs and restaurants, although they will still have to observe social distancing. Limits on indoor gatherings in Northern Ireland are scheduled to be relaxed on 21 June and the current rules in Wales will be reviewed on 25 June.

"If the lifting of restrictions is pushed back, the UK Weddings Taskforce - an industry group - estimates that 50,000 weddings planned in the four weeks from 21 June could be cancelled, with the industry losing £325m for every week of delay. Currently the number of guests allowed at weddings is limited to 30.

"The Night Time Industries Association said businesses such as nightclubs had already spent millions preparing to reopen, and the association will legally challenge any delay to reopening. 'It's going to be catastrophic to us. This will possibly hurt us more than the initial lockdown back in March last year,' said Will Power, owner of the Lab 11 nightclub in Birmingham.

"UKHospitality, which represents pubs, bars and restaurants, said businesses faced losing £3bn in sales if the relaxation of restrictions is delayed by a month."

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