WITH the delay of lifting the final lockdown restrictions described as "the best way to stop the spread", current restrictions are to remain in place for the next month.

Last night, June 14, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed there will a delay in the country moving to Step 4 of the Government roadmap, with hopes for the lockdown to now be lifted on July 19.

As a result however, Step 3 rules and restrictions will remain in place.

Councillor Simon Jacobs, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health, said the latest variants of coronavirus have resulted in a rise in cases across the country, causing the delay of the last lockdown stage.

He said: “We know this may not be the news people were hoping to receive, but the decision to proceed to the final step of the roadmap was always going to be informed by data rather than dates, and that’s why there is a delay to the change in restrictions.

“Unfortunately, the variants of coronavirus that have been emerging, particularly the Delta variant, first identified in India, have seen an increase in cases across the country, particularly during the last few weeks.

“The best way to stop the spread has been to temporarily halt the current plans for Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap."

Under Step 3, the rule of six or two households indoors remains, and up to 30 people can meet outside.

Businesses that could operate under Step 3, including restaurants, indoor entertainment, shops and hotels can continue under the same guidelines.

Capacity limits for sports, pubs and cinemas will remain however, and nightclubs will stay closed.

One unlocking that was revealed during last night's conference - from next Monday, June 21, there will be no numerical limit on wedding receptions and ceremonies, either indoors or outdoors.

The government is taking the same approach as it has to funerals, meaning only capacity will limit the number of guests allowed.

Talking about how the public can maintain their health and safety during this period, Cllr Jacobs added: “We hugely appreciate the efforts of everyone who has been adhering to the restrictions and urge people to continue following the rules so that a way back to a more normal life can continue soon.

“I would urge people get vaccinated when offered and ensure they attend both first and second dose appointments, and stick to the safety measures that will help keep themselves and friends and family safe, by regularly washing hands for at least 20 seconds, social distancing and wearing face coverings where required.”

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