PM Boris Johnson announced that restrictions would not end until July 19, as the more infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 was spreading rapidly.
The Delta variant, first identified in India, is currently the dominant strain in the U.K, Reuters reported. The Health officials believe this variant is 60 percent more transmissible than the previous dominant strain.
According to a statement issued by PM Johnson, millions of younger adults across the U.K. are yet to be vaccinated, and "a proportion of the older people and vulnerable may still succumb even if they have had two jabs."
Adding that the Delta variant is spreading faster than predicted in the February roadmap, the PM said that the cases are growing by 64 percent per week and are doubling every week in the most affected areas. He also said that in England, the average number of people admitted to hospital has increased by 50 percent week on week and 61 percent in the North West.
Reuters quoted the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance by saying, "the four-week delay should reduce the peak - whatever it would be - by something between 30 and 50 percent".
The government plans to have two-thirds of its adult population double-jabbed by Monday, July 19, including everyone over 50, all the vulnerable, all the frontline health and care workers, and everyone over 40 who received their first dose by mid-May.
The country was due to lift most social distancing on June 21, including pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, and hospitality venues.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.