ENGLAND’S tiered lockdown system could return amid growing fears the Indian variant could stop “Freedom Day” next month.

A proposed deadline to announce if social distancing will end on June 21 has reportedly been shelved as cases of the Indian coronavirus strain continue to rise.

According to the Times, a lockdown system based on last year’s Tier 4 restrictions are being drawn up as a contingency plan.

Under the measures, Brits would be advised to stay at home – while non-essential shops and hospitality would shut down once again if the mutant strain continues to spread.

The newspaper said businesses in areas subject to the restrictions would receive grants of up to £18,000 and the scheme would be administered by local authorities, with payments adjusted according to the length of restrictions.

It comes after Matt Hancock on Monday confirmed 2,323 cases of the B.1.617.2 variant have been found in 86 local authorities across the UK.

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