Tensions have been rising over the past few weeks with rumours going around that the UK's most anticipated day of the year—freedom day—might be pushed back in fear of the super-spreading Delta variant.
A possible extension
In a recent statement, Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, revealed that he would not be ruling out the possibility of extending the removal of all restrictions on June 21 by at least two weeks. He said:
We are absolutely open to doing that if that's what needs to happen. We said in the roadmap that June 21 is the date by which we would not take step four before that date and that we would look at the data. That is exactly what we are doing.
The government has also made it clear that face coverings and working from home when possible would be kept in place beyond the mark of fourth phase of the roadmap out of lockdown.
Outraged Tory MPs
Since Mr. Hancock's comments broke out, senior backbenchers have come out in opposition claiming there are other ways around the Delta variant without compromising people's right to freedom. Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne said:
Ministers are wasting the advantages afforded by the success of vaccinations. The original mission statement was to save lives by protecting the NHS. We've done that. The more it moves the goalposts, the more people will be made redundant.
Echoing the same sentiments, Former Tory Cabinet minister David Jones said last:
Matt Hancock has acknowledged that most people in hospital [with Covid-19] have not been vaccinated. The answer is therefore to get as many people as possible vaccinated as quickly as possible.
It is not to delay the lifting of lockdown, with the attendant damage to people's mental and physical wellbeing and to the economy.