Amid New Strain, Rise In Cases, Britain Extends Lockdown Until July 17, 2021

London Lockdown
Kwh1050, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Britain is seeing a fast-paced covid vaccination drive after Saturday revealed a total of 5.9 million people receiving their first dose. 

Prior to this, speaking at a news conference on Friday in London, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the country that the U.K’s new strain of the coronavirus may be more deadly than first thought. The new evidence had led the government to now infer that this strain may be 30% more deadly that the original strain, as opposed to their earlier evidence which stated that this strain may be more contagious but not more dangerous. 

Last week on Wednesday, the U.K saw its worst day in the pandemic, with more than 1,800 deaths recorded in 24 hours, as the Prime Minister’s chief scientific adviser warned that some hospitals are beginning to look like a “war zone”. 

Amidst these frightening circumstances, the British government has extended the nationwide lockdown till July 17, 2021. 

With the fifth highest number of recorded cases of the coronavirus in the world, the British government wants to take no ruther risks and is extending its lockdown laws until the summer, giving local councils in England the power to close pubs, restaurants, shops and public spaces. 

While the earlier lockdown regulations in England were due to expire last week, they have now been extended until July, since PM Johnson announced on his Friday message that the government could not consider easing lockdown restrictions at the rate at which infections are growing, and until it is confident the vaccination programme is working successfully. 

The British government has also decided to quarantine travelers coming in from high-risk Covid-19 countries for at least 10 days amid this surge. England is currently under their third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemi, while similar restrictions have also been put in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.