UK lockdown lifting could be “delayed by a fortnight”

© Danny Seaton

The final stage of the UK’s roadmap out of Covid restrictions could be delayed.

In February, Boris Johnson announced that, as part of a four-stage plan, clubs and festivals in the UK can reopen from 21 June. The government is expected to announce on 14 June whether the proposed easing of restrictions will go ahead.

However, ahead of the announcement today (8 June), a cabinet source was reported to have said that a delay in Johnson’s exit strategy could be between “two weeks and a month”. According to The Times, chief medical officer, Chris Witty, and chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, hosted a “downbeat” briefing which outlined that a delay would enable people aged over 50 to be fully vaccinated before Covid restrictions are lifted. A delay would also mean that clubs and festivals won’t be returning from 21 June.

Millions of people in Britain are unvaccinated, and there are concerns over new strains of the virus. The pair described the latest data as “fairly grim”.

In March, music industry workers expressed concerns over the lack of a government-backed insurance scheme in the 2021 Budget. Julian Knight, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee said, “It is greatly disappointing that the government appears not to have heard our call to give its backing to cancellation insurance schemes for festivals, which would provide a safety net should organisers need to cancel plans and enable more to go ahead with confidence this summer.”

Read Keep NYC’s lights on: Club owners and artists on how Covid has impacted the nightlife scene.

(via The Times)