06:04 GMT23 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom may keep some COVID-19 restrictions, including wearing face masks and prioritising work from home, after the 21 June target for the next stage of exiting lockdown as the country faces a surge in cases of the Indian COVID-19 variant, The Times reported on Saturday.

    According to The Times, face masks and remote work requirements may remain in place after the deadline, while public gatherings will be allowed to help revive entertainment, hospitality, and retail industries. Currently, the government is considering lifting the "one metre plus" distancing rule and the "rule of six" indoors as the priority.

    At the same time, the UK authorities are doubtful about the efficiency of COVID-19 certificates in curbing the spread of the virus and do not believe such an app can be ready by 21 June, The Times added.

    90 year old Margaret Keenan, the first patient in the UK to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, administered by nurse May Parsons at University Hospital, Coventry, England, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2020
    © AP Photo / Jacob King
    90 year old Margaret Keenan, the first patient in the UK to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, administered by nurse May Parsons at University Hospital, Coventry, England, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2020

    British health experts reportedly believe that the easing of restrictions should be postponed until a higher percentage of the population is inoculated against the virus. As of now, just over 45% of those over 18 have received both doses of the vaccine.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to decide which restrictions can be lifted within the next few weeks, the newspaper said.

    On Friday, the UK registered over 4,000 new cases, almost three-quarters of them — the Indian variant. This was the highest daily increase since late March.

    Tags:
    COVID-19, coronavirus, United Kingdom
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