Sajid Javid to announce whether Covid measures can be lifted two weeks early
THE NEW health secretary will provide an update on when Covid restrictions are likely to be lifted in England today.
Prime minister Boris Johnson had delayed a total end to lockdown – dubbed ‘freedom day’ – from June 21 to July 19 following concern over coronavirus infection rates.
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However, he said restrictions could be eased two weeks early – on July 5 – if a data review shows it is safe to do so.
At 3.30pm today Mr Javid is expected to provide details of the review in the House of Commons and decide when restrictions can lift.
New Covid cases across the UK have continued to rise quickly in the week since June 21 and are up 59 per cent in week-on-week figures.
Mr Javid’s decision will also consider the progress of the vaccine rollout.
Around 84 per cent of all adults in the UK have now had their first jab and more than 32m people, or 61 per cent of adults, have had both.
Former health secretary Matt Hancock resigned on Saturday for breaching social distancing guidance after the publication of pictures and a video by The Sun of him kissing his aide Gina Coladangelo.
In Scotland it is thought the remaining rules will be lifted on August 9 and in Wales restrictions will be reviewed on July 15.
Some rules in Northern Ireland will be reviewed on 1 July.