As we predicted in the roadmap we’re seeing cases rise fairly rapidly – and there could be 50,000 cases detected per day by the 19th and again as we predicted, we’re seeing rising hospital admissions and we must reconcile ourselves sadly to more deaths from Covid.
In these circumstances we must take a careful and a balanced decision. And there is only one reason why we can contemplate going ahead to step 4 – in circumstances where we’d normally be locking down further – and that’s because of the continuing effectiveness of the vaccine roll-out.
When we paused step 4 a few weeks ago, we had two reasons. First, we wanted to get more jabs into people’s arms – and we have, with over 45 million adults now having received a first dose and 33 million a second. That is a higher proportion of the adult population of any European country except Malta, and our expectation remains that by July 19 every adult will have had the chance to receive a first dose and two thirds will have received their second dose.