By Ron Howells • 16 June 2021 • 20:23
Parliament Returns Vote To Extend UK Lockdown Restrictions.
Boris Johnson announced on Monday, June 14, that ‘freedom day’ – when limits like the Rule of Six will be dropped and venues like nightclubs can reopen – is being pushed back from 21 June to 19 July.
However, the delay had to be approved in Parliament to become law. MPs have now voted 461 to 60 to extend regulations that delay the easing of coronavirus restrictions in England from 21 June to 19 July.
This now means that the next, and final, stage of unlocking, will take place in just over four weeks. The decision means pubs, clubs and theatres will still have to operate within capacity limits and nightclubs will remain closed.
And limits remain on how many people can meet up, with groups of up to 30 allowed to gather outdoors and up to six people or two households allowed indoors, although weddings will be exempt.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there has been a “significant change” that has given the virus “extra legs”. Labour supported the delay but did so “with a heavy heart”.
Boris Johnson said delaying the planned lifting of restrictions would give the NHS “a few more crucial weeks” to get people vaccinated.
He said the Delta variant “spreads more easily” and there was “some evidence that the risk of hospitalisation is higher than for the Alpha variant” that was previously dominant in the UK. He added that figures showed the Delta variant now account for 96% of new cases and that the number of infections was rising, with hospitalisations also up 48% over the past week.
He also added: “We don’t yet know the extent to which the link between hospitalisation and deaths has been broken, so we propose to give the NHS a few more crucial weeks to get those remaining jabs into the arms of those who need them.”
The government’s objective was “not to eradicate” the virus, he said, because “that is not possible” but rather to aim “to live with it” like we do with flu. And he said delaying lifting remaining social distancing restrictions to 19 July would enable “a majority” of the over 40s to have two doses of the vaccine.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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