June 21 unlocking could be delayed by two weeks
The end of lockdown hangs in the balance
After Matt Hancock announced on Monday that the government are "absolutely open" to delaying England's final lifting of lockdown, some reports are now suggesting that things could be pushed back further than we feared.
Speaking to The Times, a cabinet source said that the recommendation on rescheduling the June 21 date is anywhere "between two weeks and a month" - with the rise in total cases and growing concern surrounding the Delta variant clearly a factor.
In addition, yesterday's briefing saw Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance described the current data as "fairly grim", emphasising not only how newer strains are more transmissible but also the number of people still unvaccinated in the UK.
While speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, Hancock went on to add that although the amount of new infections has "risen a little", the number of people admitted to hospital with the Delta variant was "broadly flat".
June 21 would see all restrictions lift, meaning everything from nightclubs, to full capacity sports events, weddings, funerals and more would now be permitted. The UK vaccine rollout is having great success, with over-25s set to be invited for the jab from today and more than 68 million doses handed out so far - over 27 million of those being fully vaccinated.
However, despite having announced zero daily deaths for the first time since March 2020 almost a week ago, the numbers are now sowing seeds of doubt as the most recent update went on to report 5,341 new cases and four deaths just days later.
Brits will no doubt be keeping an eye on the daily summary and keeping our fingers crossed.