The lifting of restrictions in England will not go ahead as initially suggested on 21 June, due to concerns over rising cases and hospitalisations.
The new date for lockdown measures to come to an end will be 19 July, although the prime minister said that it could happen in two weeks, if the tests are met by that time.
Weddings and wakes will not be impacted by the change of plans, meaning the 30-person limit on attendees will be scrapped.
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Mass event pilots, such as the Euros and “certain theatrical events” will be able to go ahead.
Addressing the nation in a Covid press conference, Boris Johnson said that we “cannot simply eliminate Covid, we must learn to live with it,” before announcing that the lifting of restrictions would be delayed.
He said: “I cannot say that we have met all our four tests for proceeding with step four on 21 June.
“I think it is sensible to wait just a little longer.”
Cases and hospitalisations increasing
The prime minister said that cases are growing up more than 60 per cent per week, and doubling in the areas worst affected.
He also said that hospitalisations are increasing 50 per cent week on week, and that “even if the link between infection and hospitalisation has weakened, it hasn’t been severed”.
The number of people in intensive care with Covid is also rising again, he said.
Johnson said that delaying stage four will, “give the NHS a few more crucial weeks to get those remaining jabs into the arms of those who need them.”
To try and ensure that the final restrictions can be lifted next month, Johnson announced that the vaccine programme would be ramped up.
The target to get at least a single vaccine dose to every adult in the country has moved forward to 19 July.
All over 50’s, frontline health and care workers and vulnerable people will receive both vaccine doses by the same date, Johnson said.
This will also include everyone over 40 who received a first dose by mid-May.
Johnson said that second jabs for over-40s will be accelerated also, “so they can get maximum protection as fast as possible”.
He said that 23 and 24 year olds will be able to book their first vaccine dose tomorrow.
‘Time to ease off the accelerator’
The prime minister said: “As things stand, on the evidence that I can see right now, I’m confident that we will not need more than four weeks.
“Now is the time to ease off the accelerator.
“By being cautious now, We have the chance in the next four weeks to save many thousands of lives, by vaccinating millions more people.
He added: “Once the adults of this country have been vaccinated, we will be in a far stronger position to keep hospitalisations down, to live with this disease and to complete our cautious but irreversible roadmap to freedom.