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The prime minister says he is determined the remaining coronavirus restrictions in England will be lifted on 19 July, despite concern that a rise in deaths could force a change of plan.

Boris Johnson said the measures must remain in place until then because of the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

However, some Conservative MPs are concerned they could remain for longer.

It comes as a scientific adviser warned there could be a return to hundreds of deaths a day.

Prof Graham Medley, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that numbers of deaths are low at present, but "everyone expects that they will rise".

"The question is really as to what level they will rise," he said.


"It is possible we could end up with a situation whereby the numbers of people going to hospital, really mean that the government have to take some kind of action that they don't want to."

But he added that the government has taken action that it didn't want to throughout the pandemic.

On Monday, Mr Johnson announced a four-week delay to the planned easing of lockdown on 21 June, after scientific advisors warned of a "significant resurgence" in people needing hospital treatment if it went ahead.

He said 19 July would be the "terminus date" for the remaining restrictions on social contact, and the delay would allow more people to get vaccinated.

However, a few restrictions are being lifted on 21 June, including the limit on wedding guest numbers - although venues will still have to adhere to social distancing rules.

Hospitality, wedding and night-time entertainment businesses are among those to have criticised the delay.

What are the rules after 21 June?
What will delaying the full unlock achieve?
How many people can go to a wedding and reception?
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said he shared the prime minister's confidence about the 19 July end date.

"One can never predict the future with perfect confidence," he told BBC Breakfast.

"But insofar as we can be confident about anything in this complex world, we can be confident that the increased level of vaccination that we will have by 19 July should allow us to further relax restrictions."

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