Boris Johnson urged to push ahead with roadmap – but Rishi Sunak 'willing' to delay June 21 by four weeks

Boris Johnson urged to push ahead with roadmap – but Rishi Sunak 'willing' to delay June 21 by four weeks

BORIS Johnson has been urged to push ahead with the Covid roadmap – but Rishi Sunak is "willing" to delay June 21 by four weeks, it's been said.

With fresh fears over rising cases and coronavirus variants, people are urging the Prime Minister to continue on with total unlocking in less than two week's time.

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Despite spiking cases, the latest figures showed that hospital admissions have actually fallen in the last seven days compared to the previous week – in a boost for the PM's roadmap.

Boris Johnson is due to reveal on Monday whether he will proceed as planned – and it is understood he could delay making the decision until as late as Sunday night.

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said: "We need to get on with it now.

"Evidence shows the vaccines work and the link has been broken when it comes to hospitalisations.

"As we roll out the vaccine more and more, there is nothing to stop us from allowing the economy to emerge from this pandemic.

"It's time for us to trust the vaccine and unlock."

Steve Baker, deputy chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, said: "If this brilliant milestone isn't enough to convince ministers that we need to lift all remaining restrictions – especially social distancing requirements – on June 21, nothing will ever get us out of this."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday there was a "challenging decision" to be made over the further lifting of Covid restrictions on June 21.

England's June 21 'Freedom Day' unlocking has been plunged into doubt amid fears Boris Johnson was considering up to a month-long delay to his roadmap.

The Government could postpone Freedom Day until the start of the school summer holidays in late July after scientists presented Cabinet Ministers with a "downbeat" briefing laying bare the threat of the Indian variant.

And this is a plan which Chancellor Sunak is willing to accept, according to the Guardian.

A Whitehall source pointed towards the Treasury having gone "long" on emergency coronavirus support packages in the Budget to cover the possibility of a delay to the plans.

Prof Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance reportedly produced "fairly grim" data yesterday that vaccines were not 100 per cent effective – and that the Indian "Delta" variant was spreading fast in large parts of Britain.

This comes as Covid cases have almost doubled in a week with another 6,048 people testing positive in the last 24 hours.

Yesterday's coronavirus daily case figure, up from 3,165 last week, marks the largest week-on-week leap since before Christmas, with infections surging 91 per cent in the past seven days.

The UK last saw a similar rise on December 22, when cases almost doubled to 36,000 in seven days.

Yesterday's government figures showed 13 more people have died from the virus, bringing the total death toll to 127,584.

The case figures today mark the second time reported infection numbers have been higher than 6,000 in the last week, with 6,238 cases reported on Friday.

The total number of people who have tested positive for the virus is now 4,528,442.

Another 112,941 first vaccine jabs were given in the last 24 hours with the overall number now 40,573,517, or  77 per cent of adults.

There were were 306,068 second doses of the vaccine given, with the overall total of Brits now fully protected 28,227,362, more than 53 per cent of adults.

The rise in cases over the past week comes as the Indian – or Delta – variant has spiked in parts of the country.

 

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