Loading articles...

British official says delta COVID-19 variant may delay lockdown lift

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the 'hockey hub' mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Britain’s health secretary says the delta variant, which is fast becoming the dominant coronavirus variant in the U.K., is 40% more transmissible compared to the country’s existing strains.

Matt Hancock acknowledged Sunday that the rise in delta variant cases may delay the government’s plan to lift most remaining lockdown restrictions on June 21. He also said he wouldn’t rule out continuing measures such as face masks in public settings and working from home where possible.

Optimism that Britain can vaccinate its way out of the pandemic took a dent in recent weeks with growing concern that infections are again rising, fueled by the delta variant. More than 12,400 cases of the delta variant have been confirmed so far in the U.K.

On Friday the country recorded 6,238 new coronavirus cases, the highest number since late March. The figure came down to 5,765 on Saturday.

Authorities said Sunday they will start offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people under 30 from this week in hopes that the vaccine program can help combat the renewed surge in infections.

Latest Traffic & Weather
680 NEWS TRAFFIC @680NEWStraffic 680 News Traffic Twitter verified icon
Updated 28 minutes ago
UPDATE: TorontoBound QEW past Nikola Tesla - problems are off to the right shoulder now. No delay in the area. #TBQEW #EBQEW
Latest Traffic
680 NEWS WEATHER @680NEWSweather 
Updated Today at 03:13 AM
Good Tuesday morning! Clouds will take over. Showers move in late morning #Toronto GTA and there’s the possibility…
Latest Weather