05:55 GMT03 August 2021
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    LONDON (Sputnik) – UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has said that it is very "unlikely" the government would lift the remaining COVID-19 restrictions in England any time sooner than 19 July, despite the opening of the vaccination programme to all adults in the United Kingdom

    "It could be before but I think that is unlikely. Generally, we have stuck to the dates we have set", Kwarteng told Sky News, advising people to "look to the 19 of July", which was the new deadline set by Prime Minister Boris Johnson after a surge of coronavirus cases associated with the Delta variant, first identified in India, forced the government to postpone "Freedom Day" originally set for 21 June.

    The opening of the vaccination programme to all remaining adults on Friday and the overwhelming response from young people to the call had raised hopes that Johnson could lift all legal COVID-19 social distancing rules on 5 July.

    According to the National Health Service, more than one million vaccine appointments were arranged over Friday and Saturday through its booking service, with hundreds of young people queuing outside vaccination centres.

    As of Sunday, 31.3 million people in the UK had had two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines being offered in the country – AstraZeneca/Oxford, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Moderna - while 81.6 percent of the 53 million adults living in the country had already received at least one dose.

    UK, COVID-19, vaccination, restrictions
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