Published: 06:00, 15 June 2021
| Updated: 15:29, 15 June 2021
Opinion is split on Boris Johnson's decision to delay June 21's so-called 'Freedom Day' by four weeks.
Readers of KentOnline and sister titles across the country are divided over the announcement.
The last stage in Mr Johnson's 'roadmap' out of lockdown has been pushed back due to spiralling cases of the variant first detected in India, now codenamed Delta.
Weddings and wakes will be allowed to go ahead with more than 30 guests as long as social distancing is in place as will some test events like Euro 2020 games.
A poll posted on our website yesterday revealed a split in opinion over the delay.
Readers were asked: "Do you think the final stage of lockdown lifting should be delayed?"
In total more than 2,000 of you had your say.
As of 8pm, 52% (915 votes) of people voted 'Yes', while 48% (832) supported 'No'.
A similar poll on Instagram revealed a broadly similar picture, with 212 in favour and 122 against.
Readers also took to our social media pages to voice their views on the announcement.
Michelle Judge commented: "We would be able to open up and move forward if everyone committed to being more sensible."
Pauline Reid said: "There was never a guarantee of freedom day next week! He always said the dates could move."
Meanwhile, Mandy Jane wrote: "So is everyone going to accept that we will be in perpetual lockdowns and never have any kind of old normal back ever!?"
Mim John added: "I'll keep doing my bit to keep safe, and will continue to do so regardless of the date."
Nationally, 2,000 adults were asked by Opinium ahead of the announcement what they thought, 54% voted in favour of a delay and 37% were against.
The Prime Minister now faces a Conservative backbench rebellion after announcing restrictions will now be lifted on July 19 rather than next Monday.
There is a slim chance this could be brought forward, with an assessment of numbers due in two weeks, although Mr Johnson conceded this was unlikely.
It is hoped by putting easing on hold, more people in the most at risk categories can receive their second vaccine dose which will limit hospitalisations.
It is hoped in the four week extension period 10 million more jabs can be administered, with all adults offered at least one and two thirds – including all over 50s – receiving their second.
Mr Johnson insisted there was clear evidence vaccines were having a positive impact on hospitalisations and deaths.
Cases are increasing by as much as 100% a week in some areas, while hospital admissions are going up by between 50% and 61%.
The announcement means that limits on numbers for sports events, pubs and cinemas remain in place, nightclubs will stay closed and people will be encouraged to keep up social distancing and working from home.