Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay COVID-19 lockdown lifting to July

Oxford Street

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to announce the delay of easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, seeing the current rules remain in place for up to a further four weeks after the planned 21 June unlocking.

Stage four of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown would have seen all legal limits on social contact removed.

Senior Government ministers have signed off on the decision to delay the lifting of restrictions on social contact, according to reports from the BBC and The Times.

The prime minister will use a press conference in Downing Street this evening to set out the delay, pleading to the public for one “final stretch” as he seeks to ensure that as many people as possible are vaccinated before lockdown rules are eased completely.

The delay in restrictions will mean capacity limits remain for larger events, pubs and cinemas. Night clubs will stay closed. Johnson is however expected to lift the 30-person limit on weddings and allow for more seated outdoor sport and cultural events to take place with large crowds.

The move will come as a blow to indoor retail locations and experiences, which have been closed or operating under reduced capacity for almost 12 months.