“Now is the time to ease off the accelerator,” Johnson said. “I am confident we will not need more than four weeks and we will not go beyond July 19. But now is the time to ease off the accelerator.”
British health officials have said the variant, which was first discovered in India, is 40 percent more infectious than the variant that previously swept through the country, which was first found in England. The delta variant is now dominant in nearly every region of Britain. Leaders there hope the delay will allow more residents to get vaccinated.
Britain has fully vaccinated 44.6 percent of its population, according to tracking from The Washington Post, compared with 43.4 percent of Americans who are fully vaccinated.