21 june

Is Boris right to delay the lockdown easing?

It now seems likely that freedom day is going to involve rather less freedom than everyone had hoped. Later today, Boris Johnson is expected to announce that the 21 June easing of lockdown will be delayed by up to four weeks, until every adult has been offered at least one vaccine by the end of next month. The delays mean that nightclubs will stay closed and work from home guidance will remain in place – although the 30-person limit on wedding guests is expected to be lifted and there will be more outdoor events allowed to take place. The abrupt change to the lockdown easing plan comes as the Indian

The risky business of delaying 21 June

It seems almost certain that ‘freedom day’ will be delayed. So now we consider the details. On the latest episode of Coffee House Shots, we debate the implications of extending restrictions and what that would mean – not just for the summer – but for the rest of the year. Fraser Nelson makes the case for caution on the podcast (and on Coffee House here), arguing that the Delta variant has changed the equation and the PM should be given the benefit of the doubt, as well as a little more time to get a ‘reasonable grasp of the risks and trade-offs.’ There was broad agreement between us that the issue isn’t so much the

Why the 21 June unlocking will probably not go ahead

The Prime Minister’s roadmap rules would logically dictate not moving to stage four of lockdown easing on 21 June, but delaying by two or four weeks – because the increase in the R transmission rate to more than one is driven in part by the stage two and stage three easings and not just by the greater transmissibility of the Delta variant. As Nadhim Zahawi said on the Peston show last Wednesday, the more significant characteristic of the Delta variant is that one vaccine dose is not terribly effective against it, though two doses provides decent protection. And that good protection kicks in two or three weeks after the second