Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Rampant Variant Derails U.K.’s Plan to Lift Virus Measures

  • Easing of restrictions postponed in England by four weeks
  • Delta variant now accounts for nine in 10 cases in U.K.
Bloomberg business news
U.K. Extends Covid Lockdown to July 19
Updated on

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed back his plan to lift coronavirus restrictions by four weeks as a more infectious variant spreads rapidly across the U.K., threatening to undermine the country’s effort to vaccinate its way out of the pandemic.

The government in London was forced to act after modeling showed hospital admissions could reach similar levels to the first wave of infections in spring 2020 -- a peak of more than 3,000 a day -- if Johnson stuck to his schedule to end social-distancing rules on June 21. In a televised briefing on Monday, he said there was no choice but to delay his plan until July 19.