Covid live: UK reports 8,125 daily cases, most since February, as doctors call for delay to lockdown easing

UK also reports 17 deaths as infection rate rises; British Medical Association calls for delay to easing of remaining lockdown restrictions

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8.11pm BST

Britain’s main doctors’ union has joined calls for the next planned lockdown easing in England to be delayed, as figures Friday showed new Covid-19 cases across the U.K. running at their highest level since late February.
The rise in new infections comes as a result of the spread of the delta variant first identified in India. Government figures showed that 8,125 new cases were recorded on Friday, the highest figure since February. The pick-up in cases has led a number of scientists to call on the British government to delay the next planned lockdown easing in England from June 21. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to announce on Monday whether he will sanction the next lockdown easing, which is intended to remove all legal limits on social contact including the reopening of nightclubs for the first time since the pandemic struck in March 2020. The British Medical Association said a “sensible delay” would help keep a lid on infections as it would allow more people to be vaccinated with first and second doses, particularly younger people who are seeing the highest proportion of infections.

7.55pm BST

The UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson gave the Tokyo Olympics a show of public support at a meeting with Japan’s Yoshihide Suga and welcomed efforts to ensure next month’s Games can take place safely.
At a meeting with Suga on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in the British seaside resort of Carbis Bay, Johnson agreed to work together on a range of issues from trade and technology to defence and climate, PA reports. “The prime minister expressed his support for the Tokyo Olympics, and welcomed Japanese efforts to ensure the Games can take place safely,” a Downing Street spokesperson said. Tokyo 2020 would be “grateful” if G7 countries could support the Summer Games going ahead as planned, Tokyo 2020 organising committee president Seiko Hashimoto said. “It is Japan’s expectation that the other members of the G7 countries share the idea of Japan,” said Tomoyuki Yoshida, press secretary at Japan’s Foreign Ministry. “It is quite encouraging for us for the G7 countries to support the efforts of Japan on this occasion as well.”

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