Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement that the final stage of the roadmap will be delayed, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:

“As the Prime Minister has stressed, the Delta variant unfortunately remains a serious concern and everyone needs to continue to play their part in ensuring we limit any further transmission.

“Councils, along with their communities, local NHS colleagues and national Government have worked extremely hard to get us to this point. However, it is now clear there is still a short way to go before we can fully exit the recovery roadmap. It is vital that everyone continues to follow local advice to ensure we are all doing everything we possibly can to keep everyone safe.

“This will undoubtedly be disappointing news to businesses within our local communities who have been waiting to open without restrictions for over a year, but it is good that weddings will still be able to go ahead as planned under relaxed rules.

“Councils stand ready to continue to do all they can to support affected businesses through this challenging period. They also have their Local Outbreak Management Plans in place and are helping the national effort in trying to combat further infection, with surge testing and local targeted vaccination planning.

“Working closely with their NHS partners, councils are doing everything they can to help defeat this terrible virus and its variants, and want to get life back to normal for everyone as soon as possible.”