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Nothing being ruled out next month, minister says

Environment Secretary George Eustice said the government “couldn’t rule anything out” when asked whether the 21 June target for scrapping all coronavirus restrictions could be delayed.

The cabinet minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “The prime minister has said all along that he is going to take this one step at a time and will only make the judgment on the next step, on June 21, about a week before that.

“I think he is excepted to say something in a couple of weeks’ time on 14 June.

“The rates are going up again slightly but from a low base and probably to be expected, given there are a significant number of younger people who are now out and mixing but haven’t had the vaccine – I suppose that is to be expected.

“But the right thing to do in a couple of weeks’ time is to assess that data before deciding what we can do.”

Asked whether businesses should prepare for a delay to the unlocking, Mr Eustice replied: “I’ve said all along, as has Matt Hancock and the prime minister, we can’t rule anything out because we know this has been a difficult pandemic, a dynamic situation.

“We have to make that judgment a couple of weeks before. It will only be by then that we will see the full impact of the latest easements we made on 17 May, so I know everyone wants to know what is going to happen but we can’t actually make that judgment until we see the impact of the easements just made.”


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