Mr Johnson is coming under pressure from all sides over whether to go ahead with his roadmap out of lockdown. Some scientists and medics are urging the Government to delay a further easing of measures on June 21, due to the impact of the Indian variant – now formally known as Delta – amid fears it could lead to the NHS being overwhelmed.
But some Tory backbenchers and business leaders are urging the Prime Minister to stick with the original date of June 21.
An Express.co.uk poll – which ran 8am to 6.30pm today – asked: “Should Boris Johnson delay the June 21 reopening?”
Out of 3,760 votes, 58 percent (2,127) of voters said the easing of lockdown restrictions should not be delayed.
While, 40 percent (1,552) said they should be delayed, and just two percent (81) opted for ‘don’t know’.
Responding in the comments section of the poll, one Express.co.uk reader said: “Open up fully no masks etc let people take the chance or let them stay indoors if that’s what they want.
“It should be up to the individual now.”
Another reader added: “I am totally fed up with lockdowns, restrictions, stupid cotton masks and generally the whole Covid reaction.
“Enough is enough! We need to get on living.”
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“It will not be to the detriment of the goal at hand.
“Bad luck for some but it needs to be done.”
Hospitality chiefs are particularly concerned about the prospect of a delay to the lifting of social distancing measures, as many warn they are only able to break even at the moment due to current limits on capacity.
Kate Nicholls, of UK Hospitality, said keeping the current restrictions would be “devastating” for businesses that are counting on being able to expand their capacity in the coming weeks.
Some MPs are also urging Mr Johnson to ease restrictions on June 21, pointing to the success of the country’s vaccine rollout.
The case for reopening was also given fresh hope yesterday as the UK reported no new coronavirus deaths for the first time since the pandemic began last year.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock hailed the news as a significant milestone, and said: “The whole country will be so glad there were no Covid-related deaths recorded yesterday.
“The vaccines are clearly working — protecting you, those around you and your loved ones.”
But despite the promising statistics, some leading scientists are urging the Prime Minister to err on the side of caution and delay reopening on June 21.