Boris Johnson has dashed the hopes of lockdown-weary Brits by extending England’s restrictions for four weeks to July 19.
England will remain at step three of the PM’s roadmap - limiting indoor parties to six people and meaning nightclubs must stay shut.
Masks will continue in shops and on public transport, work-from-home guidance will carry on, and table service remains in pubs.
But thousands of couples will get a reprieve - as weddings and receptions will be allowed to go ahead with more than 30 attendees.
Rules on wakes and care home visits will also be relaxed slightly from next Monday.
Meanwhile, vital reviews spelling out future rules around social distancing and Covid passports have not materialised.
Both reviews have been delayed and will be published ahead of July 19.
The Prime Minister took the decision after scientists warned pushing ahead risked a surge in hospital cases as bad as the first wave last April.
He said he was "so concerned" that the Delta strain was "spreading faster than the third wave predicted in the February roadmap."
Back then, scientists had predicted more than 30,000 further Covid deaths between February 2021 and summer 2022.
But the government has now received advice that the Delta (Indian) variant is between 40% and 80% more transmissible than the Alpha (Kent) strain - much higher than first thought.
The PM said if June 21 went ahead, "there is a real possibility that the virus will outrun the vaccines and thousands more deaths would ensue that could otherwise have been avoided."
Two of the ‘four tests’ to move to step four are not met - variants changing the risks; and the risk of a “surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS”.
There will be a two-week review of the delay on June 28, and the PM’s official spokesman said if data is “much better than expected”, restrictions could then be eased on Monday 5 July. But the spokesman added this outcome is “unlikely”.
There is no guarantee step four will not be delayed again, and the move to step four will only be confirmed on July 12.
But Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister is confident we will not need any more than a four-week delay”. And he said there’s “no suggestion” of reversing restrictions and crashing back into step two.
So what can and can’t you do from next Monday in England? Here’s a rough guide.
You can get a vaccine earlier
The government has officially brought forward its July 31 target to offer a first dose of vaccine to all over-18s in the England.
Instead it now aims to offer all adults a first dose of the vaccine by July 19 - the new date step four should take effect.
At the same time, ministers have set a new target to offer all eligible over-40s in England their second dose by July 19 at the latest.
To achieve this, all over-40s will now be offered their second dose eight weeks after their first - not 12 weeks, as is the case now.
The dose “interval” had already been shortened for over-50s, but it will now be shortened for people in their 40s as well.
No10 said people in their 40s will be contacted to change their appointment date for their second dose, so they do not need to contact the NHS or their GP themselves.
These changes should mean two-thirds of adults have been offered both doses by July 19.
Meanwhile, the government is looking at whether the changing balance of risk could mean the AstraZeneca jab is once again offered to younger people.
Currently it is limited to over-40s due to the small risk of blood clots - but as Covid cases rise, the benefits of getting the jab will be more likely to outweigh any risks.
You can get married with no 30-person limit
The 30-person limit on weddings will be removed in England from June 21, despite step four being delayed.
That means there will be no numerical limit on either receptions or ceremonies - either indoors or outdoors.
Instead, capacity limits will be the highest number of people venues can accommodate while still being Covid-secure.
The 30-person limit will also be lifted on weddings outdoors on private land, including in gardens. There will be a risk assessment which organisers need to fill out.
It will mean weddings with hundreds of people can go ahead after months of uncertainty.
But other restrictions on weddings - including the ban on most singing and dancing, and guests having to wear masks at certain points - will remain in place until step four.
People at an indoor venue will need to be on tables of no more than six people. Indoor venues must shut off their dance floors - apart from for the “first dance”.
Marquees on private land need to have two sides open to qualify as 'outdoors'.
The rule of six indoors still applies to weddings in private homes - except for deathbed weddings, which can have up to 30 guests.
You can attend a loved one’s wake, not just their funeral
The 30-person limit on other commemorative events including wakes will be lifted in England from June 21.
Instead, capacity will be driven by the maximum number of people a venue can accommodate within Covid-secure rules.
This means wakes will now follow the same capacity rules as funerals.
You can have a relative from a care home round for lunch
Rules on visits outside care homes will be relaxed in England from June 21, despite the delay to other easings of lockdown.
The PM’s spokesman said: “The requirement for residents to isolate for 14 days after visits out of care homes will also be removed in most cases.”
It is not yet confirmed exactly which cases will still require a 14-day isolation. Currently the 14-day isolation is already dropped for outdoor visits.
However, officials indicated care home residents won’t need to isolate at all after visits outside their home, apart from possibly hospital visits.
Fuller guidance is due to be published by the Department of Health and Social Care.
You can still meet up to 29 friends outdoors
Step three already allows outdoor gatherings of up to 30 people.
While social distancing recommendations still apply, they are not the law, and people are able to use their individual judgement.
For instance, an outdoor gathering between two fully-vaccinated people is safer than an enclosed area with people who only had one dose.
You can still attend school without a mask
There are no plans to reintroduce masks in schools - though there is an element of local decision making based on cases in their area.
Local authorities retain the ability to change their approach in areas where there are sig outbreaks - but "we're confident our guidelines are the right approach”, said No10.
You can’t have more than five friends round indoors
The biggest restriction still on people’s lives in England is arguably the ‘rule of six’ on indoor gatherings.
People cannot legally gather in groups of more than six people, or a larger number of people from a maximum of two households.
As long as you’re within the rule of six, you can have people round for overnight stays and make your own decisions on hugging.
But the six-person cap has prevented house parties, big Sunday meals and nightclubs (more below). There are exemptions for work, education and some ‘Covid-secure’ events.
Axing this rule of six was a key part of moving to step four - so that means the indoor rule of six remains for now.
You can’t all head back to the office
Advice to work from home where possible will continue to apply after June 21, due to the delay to step four.
You can’t rip your mask off
General laws on masks in shops and on public transport remain in place, and are not being lifted from June 21.
Those who fail to wear a mask without a medical or similar exemption can be fined £200.
You can’t go to a nightclub or strip club
Nightclubs are among the only venues still shut under the step three of the government’s roadmap for England.
It’s been a brutal 15 months for these venues in which they have not been able to open at all, even last summer.
Also shut are “dance halls, discotheques, sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars”.
The aim was to allow these to reopen at step four of the roadmap, potentially with Covid passports. But that’s now delayed.
You can’t pack out a football stadium
Currently most large events can only operate at 50% capacity or less - making sports fixtures and gigs difficult to turn a profit (or be fun).
Since April there have been pilot events, trialling the idea of packing in large crowds without social distancing.
Attendees have taken rapid Covid tests before they’re allowed through the gates, in a model that could potentially be used as a return to normality.
But this return will have to wait - instead of forging ahead, the government plans to hold more pilot events to get more data.
You can’t claim more furlough
There are “no changes” to the furlough scheme or other economic support despite the four-week delay, the PM’s spokesman said.
That includes no change to the ban on commercial evictions, which is still due to end on June 30.
Currently the government is paying 80% of wages up to £2,500 a month as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
From July government contributions will fall to 70% up to £2,187.50, with employers having to pay 10%. They then fall again to 60% up to £1,875 in August and September, with employers paying 20%, before ending altogether.
No10 refused to accept modelling which has claimed the delay could have a £3bn impact on the hospitality industry.
The PM’s official spokesman said: ”As you would expect, there will be an economic impact to further delay.
“At the budget we deliberately extended most support well into the autumn, acknowledging there could be uncertainty in the path of the virus."