According to the COVID-19 road map laid out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government, all pandemic-related restrictions are scheduled to be lifted June 21, one week from Monday.
But in an interview Friday, England’s COVID-19 vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, told Times Radio the nation must be very careful about the opening given the dominance of the delta variant, originally identified in India. His comments came as the government reported 8,125 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily total since February, and that daily transmission rates also were higher.
Zahawi said the government should examine the data from this coming weekend very carefully and share it with the nation, and then decide about reopening.
Meanwhile, Chicago on Friday became the largest U.S. city to fully reopen. During a news conference formally announcing the reopening, Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters that for more than a year, Chicago residents have endured so much, but they did their part every step of the way.
“You masked up, you got vaxxed up, and now it’s time for you to get up, get out of the house this summer, and fully and safely enjoy the events of the best city on the planet, our beloved city of Chicago,” Lightfoot said.
Earlier Friday, leaders from the G-7 nations announced they would donate a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to low- and medium-income nations. The U.S. will donate 500 million shots, while Britain will donate 100 million doses.
US shots will begin shipment in August President Biden says; Britain will donate 100 million jabs
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report Thursday focusing on 10 jurisdictions, and it found that between March and May of 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in a marked decline in routine childhood vaccinations compared with the same period in 2018 and 2019.
The study said the decline placed “U.S. children and adolescents at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases,” such as measles and polio.
The CDC study also found the vaccination rate increased from June to September 2020, but “this increase was not sufficient to achieve catch-up coverage.”
The CDC recommended health care providers “assess the vaccination status of all pediatric patients, including adolescents, and contact those who are behind schedule to ensure that all children and adolescents are fully vaccinated” to avoid disease outbreaks.