BRITAIN faces 100,000 Covid cases every day by July, scientists have warned.
The number of new Delta variant infections is doubling every nine days, pushing Boris Johnson to prepare to delay the June 21 'freedom day'.
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The PM is set to announce he is postponing the full lockdown lift to July 19 due to "worrying stuff in the data".
He said yesterday: "We are seeing the delta variant causing an increase in cases, we are seeing an increase in hospitalisations."
Mr Johnson added: "The whole point of having an irreversible roadmap is just that, to make it irreversible, and to do that sometimes, as I've said repeatedly, you have to be cautious.
"And where it's necessary to be cautious, we will be."
Another 7,738 Brits tested positive for coronavirus in the latest 24-hour period, up significantly from the 3,398 infections reported a fortnight ago on May 29.
Around 90 per cent of new cases are now the Delta variant – which originated in India – and cases are doubling every nine days.
But experts have warned the true daily infection figure is likely more than double the 8,000 recorded in tests.
Independent SAGE's Anthony Costello, of University College, told The Mirror: "In a month you'll be up to 100,000 new cases a day.
"If the Government takes a gamble and lets rip like Tory backbenchers want, the NHS will be overloaded. Let's wait. Let's stay as we are."
And British Medical Association boss Dr Chaand Nagpaul warned rising infections could see the number of people hospitalised each day hit 2,000 – twice the usual number during a bad winter before Covid.
He added: "It’s not just about hospitalisations, but also the risk to large numbers of younger people, who can suffer long-term symptoms."
Despite rising daily cases, the number of people dying with Covid remains relatively low.
Fatalities increased by 12 yesterday, but numbers have stayed under 20 since May 11.
And Britain's vaccination programme is continuing apace, with thousands of over-25s signed up to receive their jabs in the coming days.
Some 34.3 million first doses of a Covid-19 vaccine have now been delivered in England – the equivalent of 77.5 per cent of the adult population.
And a whopping 70,741,984 jabs have been administered across the UK, including 29,450,653 second vaccines.
But the Government has been urged to remain cautious until it is known how protective the vaccines are against "concerning" variants.
Ministers warned Covid restrictions could end up being in place until spring next year as the planned two to four-week delay to the June 21 unlocking would leave a "very short window to open up".
Government advisers have warned it could be become too late to lift the remaining restrictions in September as we head into autumn and winter, The Telegraph reports.
A senior minister tonight claimed further postponements could lead to a full reopening in the spring, when transmission occurs less easily and winter strains on the NHS have eased.
They said: "I am very worried the people who want to keep us shut down now want us to keep us shut down permanently and are aiming for 'zero Covid'.
"Once you start delaying to the spring you're making this type of control of people's lives semi-permanent."
The Sun revealed yesterday that Boris Johnson is set to push the full lockdown lift to July 19 after cases of the mutant Indian strain exploded by 240 per cent in just a week.
Under plans drawn up to be announced on Monday, a two-week review will be included meaning Covid restrictions could be dropped on July 5 if hospitalisations stay down.
But multiple sources told The Sun the chances of lifting restrictions as planned on June 21 were close to zero.
The delay will be used to work out if the vaccine rollout really means rising cases numbers do not spark a surge in hospitalisations – and it will allow millions more people to be double jabbed.
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