BORIS Johnson will today extend lockdown for a month — but throw a lifeline to couples by increasing the wedding guests cap.
The PM, who tied the knot with Carrie 16 days ago, is desperate not to ruin couples’ happy day.
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Ministers were last night thrashing out plans to let more than 30 guests attend so long as they stick to social distancing. One said: “There is hope a deal can be done.”
Mr Johnson will offer up the deal as a glimmer of good news on a gloomy day for freedom-yearning Brits. He will confirm England’s lockdown is extended to July 19, with an option of lifting it two weeks earlier.
It comes as the number of Indian/Delta strain cases continues to shoot up. However, the PM would not promise the month-long delay would be the last.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, echoed his words and said no guarantee could be given as “we are dealing with variants”. He told Times Radio that the country must not “yo-yo back in and out of measures”.
Conservative MPs and business chiefs hit out at the decision to extend lockdown. Rebel Steve Baker urged fellow Tories to oppose it.
Issuing a Great Escape-style appeal, he wrote: “It is the sworn duty of all officer to try to escape.”
UK Hospitality chief Kate Nicholls said a month’s delay would cost businesses £3billion and see 180,000 jobs lost.
She said if one was necessary to meet vaccination targets, it should be “full and final”.
Infectious diseases specialist Dr Andrew Hayward said a substantial third wave of cases was starting to crash over the UK. He said opening up would “fan the flames”, causing it to spread faster.