Boris Johnson has confirmed that England will not continue with the final stage of the roadmap out of lockdown on June 21.
Instead of restriction lifting next Monday, certain restrictions will remain in place for a further four weeks.
The Prime Minister said that the country will stay in stage three of the roadmap and not continue into stage four until July 19, at the earliest.
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The delay of the lockdown lifting comes after England failed to meet two of the four tests the government has put in place to determine the next stage of the roadmap.
These tests determine whether the vaccine rollout is going as planned, if vaccines are effective in bringing down death rates and hospitalisations, if case numbers aren’t rising to a level that becomes unsustainable for the NHS, and if new variants don’t create unforeseen risks.
Boris Johnson said the two tests that have not been met are variants changing the risks and the risk of a 'surge in hospitalisations' which would put pressure on the NHS.
Presenting data on the Government's four tests for lifting coronavirus restrictions, Professor Chris Whitty said rates of hospitalisation are low in all parts of the country, but there was a "rapid rise" particularly in the North West with the rest of England following.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, he said these numbers are 'still relatively modest compared to the capacity of the NHS.'
He added: "But several doubling times, a relatively small number of doubling times and you start getting to really quite large numbers."
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Prof Whitty said Covid-19 cases were increasing across the country, adding the link between people being admitted to hospital had been 'substantially weakened' but 'it has not been completely stopped.'
He said the rates of people being admitted to hospital were following a rise in cases but with a delay.
Professor Whitty said: "So although we don't think an immediate overwhelming of the NHS is likely, if this continues on an exponential path, and in particular if that then accelerated further due to further loosening, then we would run into trouble in a relatively small number of doubling times."