Great Britain

Live: Boris Johnson makes England Covid lockdown announcement

Boris Johnson will announce when the next stage of lifting in England will take place this evening.

The Government was planning to get rid of all restrictions in June 21. However, it is now expected to be delayed because of the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

The Prime Minister will be holding a press conference at Downing Street, joined by England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, and the Government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance.

Mr Johnson is expected to appeal to the public to show patience, with one last push to ensure that when controls do finally end it is “irreversible”.

However, it comes as a huge setback to many businesses – particularly in the battered hospitality sector – which had pinned their hopes on a full summer reopening to recoup some of the losses of the past year.

There was deep frustration among lockdown sceptics on the Conservative benches who said there was no reason not to end the restrictions as those most at risk of death or serious illness are now fully vaccinated.

Mr Johnson is expected to start speaking at 6pm. Follow live updates below.

Delta variant restrictions

More support for surge testing, tracing, isolation and maximising vaccine uptake will be deployed in Birmingham, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Liverpool City Region and Warrington, the Government has announced.

Anyone living in those areas is being urged not to travel.

The support package, which is the same as was announced for Greater Manchester and Lancashire last week, is being provided after a number of cases of the Delta variant were detected in the areas, a spokesman said.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are doing everything we can to stop the spread of the Delta variant, and working with local authorities, we are providing a strengthened package of support in areas where cases of the variant are increasing.

“We know this approach has made a real impact in south London and in Bolton where we have seen it stall rising cases.

“I urge people living these areas to get tested, come forward for your vaccine as soon as you are eligible and make sure to get the all-important second jab – that is how we will beat this virus.”

Vaccine rate

Government data up to June 13 shows that of the 71,672,208 jabs given in the UK so far, 41,698,429 were first doses – a rise of 147,228 on the previous day.

Some 29,973,779 were second doses, an increase of 181,121.

Death toll

The Government said a further three people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Monday, bringing the UK total to 127,907.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 153,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

The Government also said that, as of 9am on Monday, there had been a further 7,742 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.

Parliament upset

Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle has told MPs he thinks it is “totally unacceptable” that the Government will be holding a press conference this evening on expected changes to the Covid road map timetable before telling the House of Commons.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to answer questions in the chamber at 8.30pm and Sir Lindsay said: “Can I just say, we weren’t going to get a statement until I got involved with Downing Street. The fact is this has been forced to actually get a statement today, it was going to be left to tomorrow which would have been totally unacceptable.

“The fact is – I understand the Prime Minister at the moment is on Nato, there is a big conference going on, he isn’t here – that’s why I insisted that somebody came to make this statement. The timing of it is 8.30pm. I thought that was better than waiting for the Prime Minister to make a statement tomorrow.

“This House needs to know, it needs to know first. I find it totally unacceptable that once again, once again, that we see Downing Street running roughshod over members of Parliament. We’re not accepting it and I’m at the stage where I’m beginning to look for other avenues if they’re not going to treat this house seriously.

“But I will say I think it’s time for me to have a meeting with the Prime Minister to actually put on the record here now but with him that this House matters.”

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