Given the rebound in cases, Hancock confirmed today that the government is publicly considering the possibility of delaying the reopening date.
Europa Press reported that he said “for now it is a date written in pencil” before indicating that social distancing measures could continue beyond the last phase of reopening set by the authorities.
By the end of June, Hancock added, about three-fifths of adults will be fully vaccinated, up from the current 52%.
But, he added, “If postponement is what needs to happen because the data is getting worse, we’re very prepared to do it.”
Experts such as University of London epidemiologist Anne Johnson or the president of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Trevor Phillips, have categorically opposed the practice of any kind of rush to reopen the country.
Indeed, government adviser Stephen Reacher warned yesterday that implementing the upcoming reopening measures would be “reckless” and would present a “grave danger to the population,” according to comments compiled by The Guardian.
Hancock added that despite the increase in the number of new cases of Covid-19 in recent days, which exceeded 5,000 cases registered daily, the number of hospitalized cases remains stable.
He stated that most of the hospital treatment cases are related to patients who have not been vaccinated, according to the French news agency.
The United Kingdom, the hardest-hit country in Europe with around 128,000 deaths, has given at least a first dose of the vaccine to more than 40 million people, and more than 27 million have already received a second dose.
But the arrival of the delta variant, which was first identified in April in India and is now dominant in the UK, according to estimates, is long after full lock Winter, threatens to lift the last restrictions scheduled for June 21.
On Saturday, 5,700 new cases were recorded.