The government have quietly extended their lockdown powers which were due to end last week, which means that pubs, restaurants and all non-essential shops could remain closed until July.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has now said the new expiry date will be 17 July.
Last year The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020, brought in, which has now been extended.
Mark Harper, who chairs Coronavirus Recovery Group of Tory MPs said, “Given the limited time allowed for debate this change in the law was little noticed.
“Once the top four risk groups have been vaccinated and fully protected by March 8, assuming the Government hits the February 15 deadline, the government must start easing the restrictions.”
He added, “The hope has to be that with the successful rollout of the vaccine, this summer date is only provisional with a spring opening being the preferred option.”
A source from the Department for Health said, “The regulations that encompass the measures, including local authority powers automatically expire after six months.
“As we are currently in a national lockdown it was necessary to renew the regulations, which means they are automatically extended for another six months. However, these measures are still subject to the statuary review point.”