The British government has quietly extended coronavirus lockdown laws to give local councils in England the power to close pubs, restaurants, shops and public spaces until July 17, the Telegraph reported on Saturday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday the government could not consider easing lockdown restrictions with infection rates at their current high levels, and until it is confident the vaccination programme is working.
The changes to the regulation governing coronavirus restrictions were made as part of a review of the third lockdown earlier this month by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the Telegraph said.
The regulation, which applies to England only, was due to expire last week but has now been extended until July 17, around the date when school summer holidays begin, the Telegraph added.
Britain has recorded more than 3.5 million COVID-19 infections – the fifth-highest in the world – and nearly 96,000 deaths.