Further restrictions were set to be eased tomorrow.
Following the news that areas in the North West would be placed on stricter lockdown rules as a result of a surge in cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that his plans to ease more restrictions in England from August 1 have been postponed.
The looser restrictions would have seen leisure spots such as bowling alleys and ice rinks re-open with social distancing, and would have also allowed theatres to reopen and indoor performances to resume. Wedding receptions have also been affected, with ceremonies of up to 30 guests now no longer able to go ahead as a result of the lengthened restrictions. Confirming the news in a press conference today, the Prime Minister confirmed that they would now not lift the above restrictions until August 15 at the very earliest.
Johnson said of the decision: “I’ve also consistently warned that this virus could come back and that we would not hesitate to take swift and decisive action as required,
“I’m afraid that in parts of Asia and in Latin America, the virus is gathering pace and some of our European friends are also struggling to keep it under control.
“As we see these rises around the world, we can’t fool ourselves that we are exempt. We must be willing to react to the first signs of trouble.”
Continuing [when asked about a potential surge]: “We’re now seeing a warning light on the dashboard – it’s right to respond in the way that we are.
“The answer lies with all of us following that guidance.”
Included in the updated restrictions, it has been confirmed that Brits will now be required to use facemasks in more places – with the mandatory rule being extended to cinemas, museums and places of worship.
While the restrictions set for August 1 will not be eased, shielders will still be able to leave their homes as planned from tomorrow onwards. Residents in Greater Manchester, among other areas in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, have been banned from visiting other households, and will now only be able to meet in groups of six outdoors.