Plans to further ease lockdown measures in England scrapped, says PM

Shoppers wear face coverings to protect themselves from COVID-19 as they walk along Oxford Street in London

Shoppers wear face coverings to protect themselves from COVID-19 as they walk along Oxford Street in London

The planned reopening of close contact social spaces such as casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and other leisure centres will not happen until August 15 at the earliest.

A lot Britishers had to cancel or reshape their travel plans to Spain after the United Kingdom government's announcement.

The further easing of lockdown in England due on August 1 would have allowed small wedding receptions and the reopening of bowling alleys and casinos.

The government needed to act as fresh cases were being reported across Britain, where 1 in 1,500 reportedly had the virus compared to 1 in 1,800 on 15 July and 1 in 2,000 on 2 July, Mr Johnson said, citing Office of National Statistics estimates. "I am really, really sorry about that but we simply can not take the risk".

From 8th August people must wear face coverings in indoor settings where you are likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson also said that despite progress being made in combating the virus, the United Kingdom can not think that it is exempt from a rise in cases.

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PA news agency understands that the pausing of shielding advice includes areas in the north west of England and Yorkshire where new restrictions were imposed on Thursday evening. Indoor performances will not resume.

As the world grapples with a possible second wave, Johnson said the virus was gathering pace in Asia and Latin America while continental Europe was struggling to keep it under control.

The chief medical officer told a Downing Street press conference: "In terms of whether it was too fast, every society is having to test how fast we can open up and there are clearly big disadvantages to opening things up in the winter months where everything is against us, and they benefit the virus and they disadvantage the health service and the NHS specifically".

Accepting that Friday's announcement would be a "real blow" to people who had wedding plans or those who can no longer celebrate Eid as they had hoped, Mr Johnson said "we simply cannot take the risk" but vowed to open up more fully "as soon as we possibly can".

In a press conference delivered today (July 31), the PM said the Government has made a decision to put the brakes on the proposed easing of restrictions, which were due to take place tomorrow, with all additional close-contact beauty treatments postponed until at least Saturday, August 15.

"I don't want to tell people to spend less time with their friends". But this has now been postponed for at least two weeks due to a rise in cases of coronavirus. "When we have that, the government may then have gained further public trust in loosening their guidance".

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