Every Sheffield business that WON’T reopen on June 21 – and when they can return

Boris Johnson has set a new “terminus date” of July 19 for the end of England’s coronavirus restrictions after being warned that easing restrictions as planned could lead to thousands of deaths.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 9:29 am

The Prime Minister ordered a delay of up to a month to the final phase of his road map to end the lockdown due to concerns over the rapidly spreading Delta variant first identified in India.

The news was described as a “devastating blow” for the night-time industry, while hospitality businesses will also see trading impacted by continued social distancing.

Experts feared going ahead with Step 4 on June 21 as anticipated could lead to hospital admissions on the scale of the first wave of Covid-19, heaping unsustainable pressure on the health service.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (Covid-19). Picture date: Monday June 14, 2021.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (Covid-19). Picture date: Monday June 14, 2021.

To avert this, Mr Johnson said during a Downing Street press conference that it is “sensible to wait just a little longer” as he put back the end of all legal limits on social contact by a month.

The Prime Minister said he is “confident” no further delay will be necessary but was unable to rule that out, warning of the possibility that an unforeseen and “far more dangerous” variant could emerge.

He hopes deaths will be significantly reduced by July 19 because it is expected two-thirds of adults will have been offered both vaccine doses by then due to the delay being coupled with a reduction in the time between jabs for the over-40s.

For now, limits on numbers for sports events, theatres and cinemas will remain in place, nightclubs will stay shuttered and people will be asked to continue working from home where possible.

What is changing?

The cap of 30 guests for wedding ceremonies and receptions will be lifted, the Prime Minister has confirmed.

As with current rules for funerals, the number of attendees will be determined by how many people the venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.

However, food and drink must be ordered, served and consumed by guests seated at a table, and dancing indoors is still not permitted, except for the couple’s first dance.

Care home residents will be permitted to stay overnight with friends and family from Monday without needing to quarantine for 14 days on return to their residences.

What is staying closed?

This means a continuation of existing restrictions such as the rule of six, or two households, for gatherings indoors as well as limits on numbers for sports events, pubs and cinemas.

Working from home where possible continues to be advised and nightclubs will stay closed.

The same goes for strip clubs and larger events.

What are the rules over weddings?

The cap of 30 guests for wedding ceremonies and receptions will be lifted, with the number of attendees to be determined by how many people a venue can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place.

Venue staff, bands, photographers and anyone else involved in the wedding must be included in the headcount, as well as guests of all ages.

However, food and drink must be ordered, served and consumed by guests seated at a table, and dancing indoors is still not permitted, except for the couple’s first dance.

Why is Step 4 being delayed?

Modelling suggests that had the easing of lockdown on June 21 not been delayed, hospital admissions could have reached the heights of the first peak in March 2020.

The Delta variant, first identified in India, is believed to be between 40% and 80% more transmissible than the Alpha strain, while there are around 8,000 new cases a day, the highest since February.

Downing Street said cases are increasing by around 64% each week and this is being followed by hospital admissions beginning to rise.

Official data showed the number of people in England being admitted to hospitals increasing by around 50% per week, with this figure being as high as 61% in the north-west.

Experts feared that going ahead with Step 4 would put unsustainable pressure on the health service, leading Mr Johnson to delay this step for four weeks until July 19.