Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that the easing of lockdown has been delayed by four weeks.

This means that Step Four of the Government's Covid Roadmap will end no earlier than July 19.

He told a Downing Street press conference that the spread of the Delta variant meant “we have obviously faced a very difficult choice”.

He said: "We now have the chance over the next four weeks to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating millions more."

Mr Johnson added: “We can simply keep going with all of Step 4 on June 21, even though there is a real possibility that the virus will outrun the vaccines and that thousands more deaths would ensue which could otherwise have been avoided.

“Or else we can give the NHS a few more crucial weeks to get those remaining jabs into the arms of those who need them.

“And since today I cannot say that that we have met all our four tests for proceeding with Step 4 on June 21, I think it is sensible to wait just a little longer.”