Covid: Ministers confident restrictions will end on 19 July

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has insisted he does not expect any further delay to the final easing of coronavirus restrictions in England.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday that measures would remain in place until 19 July because of the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

Mr Johnson said that would be the “terminus date” for the remaining restrictions on social contact.

But some Conservative MPs are concerned they could stay in force for longer.

Scientists advising the government had warned of a “significant resurgence” in people needing hospital treatment for Covid-19 if stage four of easing the lockdown went ahead as planned on 21 June.

However, a few restrictions are being lifted on 21 June, including the limit on wedding guest numbers – although venues will still have to adhere to social distancing rules.

Hospitality, wedding and night-time entertainment businesses are among those to have criticised the delay.

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