Decision on final stage of England's lockdown easing expected 14 June

20 May 2021 by
Decision on final stage of England's lockdown easing expected 14 June

Health secretary Matt Hancock has said it is "too early to say" whether the final stage of the government's reopening roadmap for lockdown easing will go ahead as planned next month.

Ministers have given 21 June as the earliest possible date on which all restrictions on social contact could be lifted in England, when it is hoped nightclubs and large events will be able to resume.

However, concerns about the Indian variant of coronavirus, which is spreading in pockets of the country, have raised questions over whether this could be delayed.

At a coronavirus press conference yesterday (19 May) Hancock confirmed a decision would be made on whether to further relax rules on 14 June.

"We've set out that we will take step four not before 21 June and will give a decision on that on 14 June using all the information we have up until then," he said.

"Every day we are getting more information about how many people are in hospital in the hotspots where there is this new variant.

"In terms of making those decisions, we look every day at the data and will make a final decision on whether we can go ahead with step four and publish that decision on 14 June.

"Until then, it is just too early to say and all I can tell you is we remain vigilant. The data on the number of cases and hospitalisations is published every day."

Step three of the roadmap began on 17 May and saw indoor hospitality reopen in England.

Hospitality in Wales could also serve indoor guests from Monday, while in most areas of Scotland businesses could begin serving alcohol indoors.

The Northern Ireland Executive has given 24 May as the indicative date for reopening indoor hospitality.

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