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: U.K. may delay final lockdown easing as COVID-19 infections rise

The U.K. was due to end its COVID-19-related restrictions on June 21, but the government now says it is “absolutely open” to delaying the date, arguing it is still too soon to make a decision in light of the recent rise in infections.

  • About 5,300 cases were reported in the U.K. on Sunday, taking the weekly tally to 33,500 or 49% more than the week before.
  • Health secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday that the Delta variant, now dominant in the country, is 40% more transmissible than the domestic Alpha variant, explaining the government’s recent caution.
  • The country is preparing to vaccinate the country’s teenagers starting in August, after medical watchdogs cleared the vaccine from drug company Pfizer
    PFE,
    +0.46%

    and Biotech BioNTech
    BNTX,
    +8.35%

    for use on 12 to 15 year-olds.

Read: France is reopening to foreign tourists, and will allow in vaccinated tourists from most of the world

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