Home World News Lockdown easing reversed and mask rules extended in England

Lockdown easing reversed and mask rules extended in England

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Lockdown easing reversed and mask rules extended in England

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ‘squeezed the brake’ on lockdown easing, reversing planned measures which were due to come into force tomorrow, August 1.

Casinos, bowling alleys, theatres and ice rinks will not be allowed to reopen and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not now be allowed from Saturday.

Sports events with crowds are also on hold. The measures will stay in place for at least a fortnight.

At the same time he announced that face masks will now be needed in more indoor spaces from August 8.

Masks became mandatory in all shops in England earlier this month and in August they will be needed in museums, cinemas and places of worship.

Announcing the changes at a press briefing in Downing Street Mr Johnson said: “I know that the steps we are taking will be a real blow to many people, to everyone whose wedding plans have been disrupted or who cannot now celebrate Eid in the way that they would wish.

“And I’m really, really sorry about that but we cannot simply take the risk.”

The announcement came the day after new measures were introduced in Greater Manchester and parts of Lanchashire, Yorkshire and Leicestershire banning people from different households mixing.

There has been an increase in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus in England, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says.

According to the ONS, between July 20 and 26 there were around 0.78 new Covid-19 infections for every 10,000 people in the community population in England.

This is equal to around 4,200 new cases per day.

This is up from an estimated 2,800 new cases a day in the previous week.

Boris Johnson said the UK cannot afford to be complacent.

He said: “We cannot be complacent and I won’t stand by and allow this virus to threaten to cause more pain and more heartache in our country.

“So that’s why last night the Health Secretary (Matt Hancock) announced new restrictions on household contact in the north west, specifically Greater Manchester and in parts of East Lancashire and in West Yorkshire.

“These are targeted measures on social contact between households which the data tells us is driving the current increase in cases.”

Further pilot sport events with spectators in attendance will now not take place in the first two weeks of August, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

A two-day county cricket friendly between Surrey and Middlesex took place with spectators in attendance earlier this week, but it appears that for the time being that will be as far as it goes in a tightening of restrictions to limit the spread of coronavirus.

The World Snooker Championship started on Friday with fans in attendance, with further spectators due for the rest of the 17-day event. Some 5,000 racegoers had been due to attend the Glorious Goodwood Festival on Saturday.

“Pilots of crowds at sports events will now not take place,” the Prime Minister said.

Boris Johnson said he understood that the latest announcement would be a “real blow” to people who had wedding plans or those who can no longer celebrate Eid in the ways they would wish.

“I’m really, really sorry about that, but we simply cannot take the risk. We will of course study the data carefully and move forward with our intention to open up as soon as we possibly can.

“Two weeks ago I also said that from tomorrow the Government would give employers more discretion over how employees can work safely, whether by continuing to work from home, or attending a Covid-secure workplace.

“And we know that employers have gone to huge lengths to make workplaces safe so that guidance remains unchanged.

“I also said that we would pause shielding nationally from August 1, based on clinical advice and that national pause will proceed as planned, and our medical experts will be explaining more about that decision and about the shielded group later today,” he added.

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