Boris Johnson has announced a delay of four weeks to the planned lifting of lockdown restrictions across England.
The Prime Minister, speaking at a Downing Street press conference, confirmed that current restrictions would remain in place until July 19.
Restrictions had been due to be lifted on Monday.
It means that limits on numbers for sports events, pubs and cinemas are likely to remain in place, nightclubs will stay closed and people will be encouraged to keep up social distancing and working from home.
However, Johnson said that a 30-person limit on weddings in England will be lifted from June 21.
The Prime Minister said that the spread of the Delta variant meant “we have obviously faced a very difficult choice”.
“We can simply keep going with all of Step 4 on June 21, even though there is a real possibility that the virus will outrun the vaccines and that thousands more deaths would ensue which could otherwise have been avoided,” he said.
“Or else we can give the NHS a few more crucial weeks to get those remaining jabs into the arms of those who need them.
“And since today I cannot say that that we have met all our four tests for proceeding with Step 4 on June 21, I think it is sensible to wait just a little longer.”
Earlier on Monday, the government was rebuked by Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle for holding the press conference regarding the Covid road map before telling the House of Commons.
Health secretary Matt Hancock will make a statement to the Commons at 8:30 pm.
Sir Lindsay told MPs: “Can I just say, we weren’t going to get a statement until I got involved with Downing Street.
“The fact is this has been forced to actually get a statement today, it was going to be left to tomorrow which would have been totally unacceptable.
“The fact is – I understand the Prime Minister at the moment is on Nato, there is a big conference going on, he isn’t here – that’s why I insisted that somebody came to make this statement. The timing of it is 8.30pm. I thought that was better than waiting for the Prime Minister to make a statement tomorrow.
“This House needs to know, it needs to know first. I find it totally unacceptable that once again, once again, that we see Downing Street running roughshod over members of Parliament.
“We’re not accepting it and I’m at the stage where I’m beginning to look for other avenues if they’re not going to treat this house seriously.
“But I will say I think it’s time for me to have a meeting with the Prime Minister to actually put on the record here now but with him that this House matters.”