Freedom Day and Blackpool Rocks with Fatboy Slim and Danny Howard under threat? Boris admits 'serious concern' ahead of announcement over lockdown lifting
Boris Johnson has warned the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus is a matter of “serious, serious concern”.
The Prime Minister is expected to announce a delay to lockdown lifting in England of up to four weeks amid warnings the country is facing a third wave of the virus.
He said: “It’s clear that the Indian variant is more transmissible and it’s also true that the cases are going up, and that the levels of hospitalisation are going up.
“Now, we don’t know exactly to what extent that is going to feed through into extra mortality, but clearly it’s a matter of serious, serious concern.”
Asked if he was less optimistic now than he was at the end of May, he said: “Yes, that’s certainly fair.
“What we want to do is make sure that the road map is irreversible, but you can’t have an irreversible road map unless you’re prepared to be cautious.
"Some of the data is still open to question, but we’ll be making an announcement on Monday.”
The last stage of the Government's 'road map' out of lockdown - pencilled in for June 21, a week on Monday - will see all social contact limits scrapped.
Nightclubs will reopen, restrictions on the size of wedding parties and other gatherings will be lifted, and large audiences will again be able to attend events such as theatre performances.
Organisers were understood to be awaiting Monday's announcement before speaking publicly about plans for the dance, electronic, and techno music festival.
Blackpool's Howard, 33, a BBC Radio One DJ who launched his career at the now demolished Syndicate nightclub in the town centre, told The Gazette in May revellers were "gagging" for life to return to normal.
"As an opportunity to get the town talking and bring someone of the level of Fatboy Slim to help celebrate our newfound freedom is something that is going to make it a special moment and, importantly, a talking point for years to come when we look back on the year of 2021 and hopefully post-pandemic," he said.
"What was the first thing people did? Well, hopefully it was to go to Blackpool Rocks."
It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.