Prime Minister Boris Johnson has delayed lifting the final stages of lockdown restrictions until July 19 amid rising COVID numbers.
During a media conference on Monday evening, Mr Johnson said rising coronavirus numbers elsewhere in the country were an early warning sign for the rest of the UK —and that the delay would allow millions more to be vaccinated, while monitoring the data on the new Delta (Indian) variant.
Mr Johnson also confirmed 23 and 24-year-olds will be invited to get their vaccination from Tuesday, June 15, as the government attempts to bring forward its plans to give every adult in the UK their first dose by July 19. Second doses for the over 40s will also be brought forward.
The move will mean pubs remain restricted to table service for groups of six, theatres and indoor venues restricted to 50% capacity, nightclubs remaining closed and the guidance to work from home staying in place.
However, under the new guidance, weddings and wakes will be able to go ahead with more than 30 guests as long as social distancing measures were in place.
Some pilot events such as Euro 2020 and some theatrical performances will also still go ahead.
Mr Johnson said: “The last three steps have inevitably been accompanied by more infection and more hospitalisation because, we must be clear that we cannot simply eliminate COVID.
“We must learn to live with it and with, every day that goes by, we’re better protected by the vaccines, and we’re better able to live with the disease.”
He said there were millions of younger adults who had not been vaccinated and “sadly, a proportion of the elderly and vulnerable may still succumb – even if they have had two jobs.”
He said the Delta variant had spread faster than the third wave that was predicted in the February roadmap, with cases growing at about 64% a week, and that there was a possibility the virus could outrun the vaccines and thousands more deaths would ensue.
“Even if the link between infection and hospitalisation has been weakened it hasn’t been severed,” he added.
However, he said: “As things stand, and on the evidence that I can see right now, I’m confident that we will not need more than four weeks, and we won’t need to go beyond July 19.
“It’s unmistakably clear the vaccines are working, and the sheer scale of the vaccine rollout has made opposition incomparably better than in previous waves.”
Businesses and others sectors, including theatre and live music venues, have already reacted to the set-back, expressing disappointment and anger at the move, which will leave them with even less time trading.
Others have raised concerns over the mental health of the nation.
The latest figures show there have been 87 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Lincolnshire on Monday but no deaths — compared to just 63 cases (38% week on week increase) and one death last Monday.
The government’s COVID-19 dashboard recorded 43 new cases in Lincolnshire, 35 in North East Lincolnshire and nine in North Lincolnshire.
No further deaths were added on to the government’s public health figures or those from NHS England.
More than 500,000 people in Lincolnshire had been given their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by Friday last week, which could be contributing to the low hospital admissions figures.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust has confirmed it currently has five COVID-positive patients on its wards, while Northern Lincolnshire and Goole has just one at Grimsby hospital.
Meanwhile, more than 380,000 second doses of the vaccine have also been administered, meaning the county is getting closer to hitting one million vaccinations in total.
More than 41 million people in the UK have had a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while nearly 30 million have had two doses.
Nationally COVID cases increased to 4,565,813 with 7,490 of those on Sunday while deaths rose to 127,904.
Coronavirus data for Greater Lincolnshire on Monday, June 14
61,270 cases (up 87)
- 42,457 in Lincolnshire (up 43)
- 9,832 in North Lincolnshire (up nine)
- 8,981 in North East Lincolnshire (up 35)
2,197 deaths (no change)
- 1,622 from Lincolnshire (no change)
- 307 from North Lincolnshire (no change)
- 268 from North East Lincolnshire (no change)
of which 1,311 hospital deaths (no change)
- 816 at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (no change)
- 41 at Lincolnshire Community Health Service hospitals (no change)
- 1 at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (no change)
- 453 in Northern Lincolnshire (NLAG) (no change)
4,565,813 UK cases, 127,904 deaths