Lockdown easing delay an expected - but bitter - blow: The Yorkshire Post says

With cases of the so-called Delta variant of Covid-19 rising rapidly and beginning to translate into increased hospital admissions – combined with the knowledge that vaccination is much more effective in providing protection after second doses – Boris Johnson’s decision to delay the final step in easing lockdown for four weeks had unfortunately become a matter of inevitability.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (Covid-19). Picture: Jonathan Buckmaster/Daily Express/PA Wire

The Government’s explanation is that we are in a race between vaccinations and the virus and the impact of the Delta variant, which originated in India, has changed the equation.

Confirmation of the delay will be devastating to millions and the Government must act to help those in the many affected industries. The decision once again highlights how costly the Government’s failure to add India to the red list until late April has been.

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But with the Government suggesting that a month’s delay will allow for a further 10 million second vaccination jabs to be given across the country, the British public will generally – if grudgingly – accept the situation to buy more time at this crucial point in the battle with Covid. It is better to delay now than find ourselves in a position where any of the current freedoms have to be reversed.

Vaccinations have already hugely reduced the numbers dying and ending up in hospital with coronavirus compared to the dire situation the country faced during last winter’s second wave.

In the same way as with flu, there seems little doubt the booster vaccinations will become part of life for more vulnerable people in years to come.

In the short term, once everyone who needs to be doubled dosed has been offered their second vaccination, the time will have to come for society to proceed with fully opening up the economy and learning to live with the virus in the long-term.

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