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Date for UK's Covid 'Freedom Day' put back again due rise in Delta variant cases

15 June 2021 9:15 AM
Tags:
Boris Johnson
Delta coronavirus variant
Freedom Day UK

Refilwe Moloto speaks to UK correspondent Adam Gilchrist about stories making headlines in the UK and Europe.
  • June 21 was supposed to mark 'Freedom Day,” for Britons
  • That's when the country’s remaining Covid-19 restrictions were due to end
  • Boris Johnson says they will remain in place for now, but won't go beyond July 19

© dolgachov/123rf.com

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has delayed the end of the UK's coronavirus restrictions in light of spiking cases of the Delta variant of the virus.

Britons had been hoping to celebrate the restrictions being lifted on June 21, with many dubbing it 'Freedom Day'.

However, the rise in infections, driven by the B.1.617.2 strain, previously known as the 'Indian variant' means current lockdown rules will remain in place for the time being.

“I am confident we will not need more than four weeks and we will not go beyond July 19,” said Johnson on Monday.

The deal was that on June 21 we would have no restrictions of any kind. No mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing, limits on numbers...because we'd made such good progress.

Adam Gilchrist, UK Correspondent

But now the Delta variant means numbers are doubling every week, it's so much more transmissible.

Adam Gilchrist, UK Correspondent

So we don't get Freedom Day.

Adam Gilchrist, UK Correspondent

Just over 44% of the UK population has been fully vaccinated, but there's been a dramatic rise in new cases of the Delta variant, first identified in India, in recent weeks.

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15 June 2021 9:15 AM
Tags:
Boris Johnson
Delta coronavirus variant
Freedom Day UK

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