CM – UK Covid live: Boris Johnson confirms a four-week delay in the loosening of lockdowns in England for fear of the Delta variant

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Mon 14 June 2021 6:37 p.m. BST

First published on Mon 14.06.2021 09.24 BST

6:37 p.m. BST 6:37 p.m.

6:36 p.m. BST 6:36 p.m.

Johnson says there will be a plan for this. Health Secretary Matt Hancock will provide details shortly.

6:33 p.m. BST 6:33 p.m.

Johnson says they don’t go backwards. None of the scientists are calling for a turnaround, he says.

He says that companies that are asked to wait four weeks – it could be two weeks, but « let’s be realistic » and say four weeks – should keep that in mind July 19th will be a « deadline ».

Q: According to the modeling, what would happen if June 21st happened without delay?

Whitty says whatever increase there would be, it would be faster if the reopening had progressed.

He says they are in a race with the variants. In a race you are not giving your opponent an advantage.

6:27 p.m. BST 6:27 p.m.

Johnson says that’s the key question. At some point we will have to learn to live with the virus, he says.

He says that by July 19th we will have built « a very sizable wall of immunity » around the population.

But he says we cannot rule out the possibility of a new variant emerging that is more dangerous and kills more people.

Sir Patrick Vallance says that by July 19th, everyone over the age of 18 will have received a dose.

Whitty says you may want to vaccinate children at high risk of Covid. He says the JCVI will make recommendations on this.

And he says there is also an argument in favor of vaccinating children to prevent their education from being disrupted because of the possible effects.

6:22 p.m. BST 6:22 p.m.

Since I cannot say today that we have passed all four tests to continue with step four, I think it makes sense to wait a little longer.

Until Monday, July 19th We double-stabbed roughly two-thirds of the adult population, including everyone over 50, all at risk, all frontline health and care workers, and everyone over 40 who got their first dose by mid-May.

And will we are now speeding up the second jabs for the 40+ year olds – just as we did for the vulnerable groups – so that they receive maximum protection as quickly as possible.

And we will prefer our goal to every adult in this country up to Administering a first dose on July 19, which also includes adolescents aged 18 and over, with 23 and 24 year olds being invited to book vaccinations starting tomorrow – this is how we reduce the risk of transmission among the groups that mix the most. And to give the NHS that extra time, we’re going to put the opening from Step 4 on until July 19, with the exception of weddings, which can still host more than 30 guests, provided social distancing remains in place and the same goes for wakes. And we will continue the pilot events – such as Euro2020 and some theatrical performances. We will monitor the position daily and if we have determined after 2 weeks that the risk has decreased, we reserve the right to continue with step 4 and open it completely earlier.

According to the current status – and on the Based on the evidence I am seeing right now, I am confident that it will not take us more than 4 weeks and we will not have to go past July 19th. It is absolutely clear that the vaccines are working, and the sheer volume of vaccine adoption has made our position incomparably better than in previous waves.

But now it’s time to relax the accelerator, because be careful we now have the chance – in the next four weeks – to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating millions more people. And once the adults of this country are overwhelmingly vaccinated, which we can achieve in a short period of time, we will be in a much stronger position to keep hospital stays low, live with this disease, and complete our cautious posture on irreversible roadmap to freedom.

6:19 p.m. BST 6:19 p.m.

Whitty turns to the fourth test, which deals with the threat posed by new variants. Due to the delta variant, the “risk assessment has shifted fundamentally,” he says.

6:18 p.m. BST 6:18 p.m.

Whitty then turns to test three for lockdown relaxations, which are about the risk of NHS congestion.

He says the surge in hospital numbers in some areas is worrying, especially when the number continues to grow exponentially.

6.15 p.m. BST 6:15 p.m.

6:13 p.m. BST 6:13 p.m.

Here is my colleague Jessica Elgot’s story about the four week delay in easing the lockdown in England.

6:12 p.m. BST 6:12 p.m.

And the number of hospital cases is increasing by 50% every week. In the Northwest, cases are increasing 61% per week, which may be the shape of the future.

Johnson says they could accept this. Or they could give the NHS a few more weeks to vaccinate more people.

He says by Monday, July 19, two-thirds of adults had received two doses. He says everyone over 50 will be double vaccinated and anyone over 40 who had their first vaccination by mid-May.

He also says he reserves the right to expedite the lifting of the remaining restrictions , if the dates have improved after the two weeks.

Weddings with more than 30 guests can take place as originally planned from June 21st.

17:57 BST17: 57

Boris Johnson will start his press conference in the next few minutes. He will be on Downing Street with Prof. Chris Whitty, Senior Medical Advisor to the Government, and Sir Patrick Vallance, Senior Scientific Advisor.

5:56 p.m. BST 5:56 p.m.

Last week, Public Health England’s report released data comparing the effectiveness of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. (See 10:41 am.) But it was mostly based on how they stack up against the alpha variant, not the delta variant, which is now more dominant and harmful.

The new study published today in the Lancet (see 15:51 Uhr) compares the effectiveness of the two vaccines with the Delta variant.

Here are the numbers for effectiveness against infections at least 14 days after the second dose.

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