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Covid live news: Boris Johnson hints at lockdown easing delay; Italy to give AstraZeneca jab to over-60s only

Honours for key UK figures in vaccine drive; MPs say Covid passports are discriminatory and should be scrapped

  • Delay lifting Covid restrictions in England, experts urge
  • Saudi Arabia bans foreigners from hajj over Covid concerns
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  • Lifting restrictions in England on 21 June: what are the alternatives?
  • See all our coronavirus coverage

In the UK, Prime minister Boris Johnson has said that Britain has “gotta be cautious” but refused to say in an interview with ITV News whether the government will delay the planned 21 June lockdown reopening until Monday.

Here’s the transcript:

Robert Peston: So we’re delaying by four weeks aren’t we?

Prime minister: Well we’re setting out the position on Monday but what I can certainly tell you is that to deliver an irreversible roadmap you’ve got to be cautious, we’re still looking at the data, we’re seeing unquestionably not just cases but also hospitalisations going up – there’ll be arguments about the extent to which they’re going up, extent to which feeding into fatalities. But in order to deliver an irreversible roadmap gotta be cautious

For the second year running, Saudi Arabia will restrict the annual Hajj pilgrimage to its own citizens and residents. Only those aged 18-65 who have been vaccinated and do not have chronic diseases will be permitted to take part and there will be a maximum of 60,000 participants, reports Reuters.

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