THE Government will announce whether Step 4 of its roadmap will go ahead as planned next Monday, June 14.

Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon (June 7), Health Secretary Matt Hancock told members that is was as yet “too early” to confirm whether the final step in easing lockdown restrictions can go ahead as planned on June 21.

The stage would see social distancing measures fully relaxed, and remaining businesses including nightclubs reopen, as well as large-scale events such as weddings and theatre performances allowed with increased capacity.

Six months on from the first covid vaccinations given in the UK, the secretary of state said that 14 million Uk residents have now been vaccinated, with 76 per cent of UK adults having had the first jab, and 52 per cent having both doses.

Matt Hancock also announced that from this week, under 30s will begin to be vaccinated, with those in the 25-29 year-old age group receiving invites from tomorrow morning.

Thanking people for their “perseverance and patience”, Mr Hancock made clear that the fight against the virus was far from over, saying that the Delta variant, first identified in India “has made the race tighter” between the vaccine and the virus.

Recent estimates show that the Delta variant has an advantage of at least 40 per cent over the previously dominant, Apha/Kent variant, and now makes up the vast majority of all new infections in this country.

But in Bolton, case rates have been falling and the surge testing approach there has been rolled out to other areas. 

However, despite rise in cases, the “hospitalisation has been broadly flat”, said Mr Hancock.

As of June 3, data shows that of 12,383 cases of Delta, 464 went into emergency care and 126 people were admitted to hospital. Of those, 83 were unvaccinated, 28 had had one dose and just 3 had both doses. 

Concluding by referencing the G7 leaders meeting in Cornwall this week, Mr Hancock said the pandemic “will not be over till it's over everywhere”, adding that the Prime Minister hopes to persuade the fellow member states to commit to vaccinating the whole world by the end of 2022.