LOOKING at all the graphs with all the lines of infection rising very fast, and listening to practically all the scientists who have been becomingly increasingly vocal about the growing threat, Boris Johnson had little choice but to delay the lifting of restrictions by four weeks.

For Mr Johnson, whose optimism led us to being too late into lockdown and too slow to shutdown borders, it would have been madness to do otherwise.

From a low base, infections in the North-East have soared by 250 per cent in many places in the last week. That could not be ignored.

However, Mr Johnson has bent the restrictions a little by allowing weddings and funerals to go ahead with more than 30 guests, although there will be venue limitations. It is hard to say this was a bad decision as there are some young couples whose lives have been on hold for more than a year.

There is still uncertainty that July 19 will be “freedom day”. This is understandable given the unpredictable and changing nature of the virus.

However, there are going to be many people watching the rate of hospitalisations and seeing how the serious illnesses balance out the serious harm being done to businesses.

In a month’s time, every adult will have been offered at least one vaccination, so protection will be rising. At some point, we are going to have to fully trust the vaccine to keep us safe as we return to a restriction-free life. We cannot be cocooned forever.