Covid: The 11 charts that show why Boris Johnson delayed lockdown easing in England by four weeks to July 19

The vaccines will beat Covid eventually, but how long will we have to wait?

The ending of England's coronavirus restrictions has been delayed by up to four weeks to July 19, the prime minister has announced, after modelling suggested the move could lead to thousands of deaths and unbearable pressure on the NHS if it went ahead on June 21 as had been provisionally planned.

These are the graphs Boris Johnson and the government's scientific advisors relied on when they made the decision to delay the unlocking.

The PM announced the setback to the final phase of his plan to end the lockdown on Monday due to concerns over the rapidly spreading Delta variant first identified in India.

  • Covid cases continue to rise across the UK

Change in case rates in England over a seven day period from 2 to 9 June 2021. Credit: UK Government

Experts feared going ahead with Step 4 on June 21 as planned could lead to hospital admissions on the scale of the first wave of Covid-19, heaping unsustainable pressure on the health service, according to modelling from the University of Warwick.

While the PM has announced a four-week delay, the University of Warwick's modelling suggests that we may not know what the impact of unlocking on June 21 would have been, says Science Editor Tom Clarke.

During the coronavirus update, Mr Johnson said another reason why the easing of restrictions was being delayed by four weeks is in the hope that deaths will be significantly reduced by that point because two-thirds of adults will have then been offered both vaccine doses due to the delay.

  • More people have had just one dose of the vaccine rather than both doses which means their level of protection against Covid is less

The number of people who have received their Covid jab in the UK. Credit: UK Government

The Delta variant now accounts for 96% of all Covid cases in England and while two doses of both the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines are as effective against it as they are the Alpha (the variant first identified in Kent) one dose only offers 33% protection, meaning people are more at risk of becoming ill or getting hospitalised.

  • Latest data shows 96% of cases are of the Delta variant

The number of Alpha and Delta variant cases from February to the end of May in England. Credit: UK Government
  • You are more likely to be protected (around 70% more protection) against the Delta variant than if you have just one vaccine

Protection against cases of the Delta variant after one and two doses of the Covid vaccine. Credit: UK Government
  • Hospitalisations from the Delta variant are also dramatically reduced if you have both doses of the vaccine compared to a single dose

Approximate reduction in hospitalisations from the Delta variant after one or two doses of the Covid vaccine. Credit: UK Government
  • Since May, more under 65s are now being hospitalised compared to older people who are more likely to have had both vaccine doses

Age distribution of hospital admissions in England. Credit: UK Government

The Delta variant was more-widely concentrated in the north-west of England to begin with and so the region's statistics indicate the direction of travel for the UK.

  • Cases have dramatically increased in the north-west in the past week alone, suggesting cases could soar across the rest of the UK

The average number of weekly Covid cases per 100,000 people for the North West and England. Credit: UK Government

As well as increasing cases, hospitalisations have also increased, leading to fears this could continue, resulting in rates similar those seen during the first wave.

  • There has been a 61% increase in hospitalisations in the North West in the week 2 - 9 June

Average number of weekly hospital admissions per 100,000 people for the North West and England. Credit: UK Government

The four week delay gives scientists more data to use in their modelling, giving them a better idea of what will happen if all restrictions are eased on July 19.