Boris Johnson halted the final easing of lockdown restrictions in England and ordered a four-week delay to increase vaccinations, but signaled late Monday that he would tolerate no further suspension.
The prime minister said that July 19 was an “end date” and that all restrictions on social contact could be lifted, unless a new variant emerges that changes the rules of the game.
England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, suggested that within four weeks the additional blows would offer enough protection to halt an increase in hospitalizations, saying there would come a point where the country could live with the virus in relative normalcy. .
But Whitty and Johnson said an acceleration of second doses of vaccine for those over 40 combined with a four-week delay could prevent thousands of unnecessary deaths. Although the data will be reviewed after two weeks, Issue 10 said the restrictions were unlikely to change.