Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed a four-week delay to final easing of coronavirus restrictions in England, but is “confident” no delay beyond 19 July will be needed.
The prime minister began the press conference by saying when he set out the roadmap he aimed for it to be “cautious and irreversible and step by step”.
So far this opening up has been accompanied by more infection and more hospitalisation, Boris Johnson says.
Cases are growing by about 64% per week and in the worst affected areas are doubling each week, he says.
The average number of cases is 50% up week on week and 61% up in the North West of England “which may be the shape of things to come”, he says.
“Even if the link between infection and hospitalisation has been weakened it hasn’t been severed,” he says.
The numbers of people in intensive care are also rising, he says.
There are millions of young people who have not been vaccinated and elderly and vulnerable people may still succumb if they have not had two doses, he says.