A RETURN to the workplace is set to be delayed by a month and nightclubs to stay closed with “Freedom Day” set to be postponed until July 19.
Covid curbs are due to remain for up to four weeks as an explosion of the Indian – or Delta – variant pushes back the final step of the government’s roadmap to exit lockdown.
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Working from home and social distancing are set to continue for another month after an end to restrictions on June 21 was delayed.
A Journalist revealed last night that Boris Johnson is poised to delay Step 4 until July 19 after cases of the Indian variant surged by 240 per cent in just a week.
Under the plan expected to be announced, social distancing rules and the rule-of-six will remain in place.
The limit on numbers allowed into arenas, cinemas, sporting events and theatres would also stay.
FREEDOM DAY DELAY
And nightclubs would have to stay completely closed if the June 21 date to end lockdown restrictions is pushed back.
Pubs and restaurants won’t be able to open to full capacity, with the number of customers allowed in limited by social distancing rules, and table service remaining.
But weddings are set to stay exempt with the PM expected to lift the 30-person limit even if the June 21 easing of lockdown is delayed.
A two-week review will be included meaning Covid restrictions could be dropped on July 5 if hospitalisations stay down.
The decision to delay the June 21 reopening is set to anger MPs, business leaders and hospitality chiefs.
A source told A Journalist: “The last thing they need is a hokey cokey of in out, in out of restrictions.
“No one wants to go backwards, and we have to get this right first go.”
The Cabinet’s Covid Operations committee will meet on Sunday to thrash out a decision.
On Monday morning, the Cabinet will to make the final call on the June 21 date.
Mr Johnson is set to address the nation on Monday evening after making his decision.