August 1 business reopenings, wedding gatherings and indoor performances postponed and face mask rules extended

PM Boris Johnson

A rise in Covid infections has prompted the government to postpone plans for businesses such as casinos, bowling alleys and for  indoor  performances to reopen from tomorrow (August 1).

In a public briefing today (July 31) Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said weddings with up to 30 people would also not be able to go ahead although ceremonies can still take place.

The measures will be reviewed on August 15.

The PM said: “Today, the weekly survey by the Office for National Statistics reports that the prevalence of the virus in the community in England is likely to be rising for the first time since May.

“Around 1 in 1,500 now have the virus, compared to 1 in 1,800 on 15 July and 1 in 2,000 on 2 July. The ONS also estimate there are now 4,900 new infections every day, up from around 3,000 per day on 14 July and 2,000 per day at the end of June

“We can’t afford to ignore this evidence.”

The PM said with numbers creeping up an assessment had been made to “squeeze that brake pedal in order to keep the virus under control.”

He added: “Until August 15, at the earliest, casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and the remaining close contact services must remain closed. ‘Indoor performances will not resume, pilots of larger crowds in sport venues and conference centres will not take place and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted, but ceremonies, of course, can continue to take place in line with Covid secure guidelines.”

However, employees returning to covid-secure workplaces will proceed as will the pause in the national shielding programme.

New measures also include an extension on where face coverings must be worn. From August 8 it will be law to wear face coverings in museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship. The PM said this would be enforced by a “greater police presence.”

During the conference the PM also repeatedly referred to ‘hands, face, space, get a test’ measures for people to reduce the risk of transmission.

The measures follow a tightening of restrictions in the North due to rising cases. It means people in the below areas will not be permitted to mix with other households (apart from those in their support bubbles) in private homes or gardens.

Some exemptions will be put in place, including for the vulnerable.

  • The Greater Manchester area
  • Pendle
  • Hyndburn
  • Burnley
  • Rossendale
  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Bradford
  • Calderdale
  • Kirklees
  • Leicester City

More to come

19 Comments

  1. I do wish they’d make it compulsory for staff in shops to wear masks when they can’t social distance. At one local store, the surly shelf stackers never wear masks, and only begrudgingly move aside.

  2. The masks don’t help stop you catching it ! Only helps stop passing it on to others .My partner works in a large local supermarket and has noticed those wearing masks have totally stopped keeping a distance !

    • Exactly that! As a customer, I certainly don’t want to risk catching it from shop workers who’ve probably been near 100’s of people that day. ALL people in shops should wear masks, as well as keep there distance of course.

      • It isn’t feasible for people in shops to be wearing masks-they are hugely uncomfortable, make breathing difficult etc & incorrect handling of them/reusing them over & over can actually spread viruses. At best just a cotton face covering could be worn-but especially in summer even that isn’t something that can realistically be worn for 7 or 8 hours at a time.

        • I don’t expect them all the time, only when they nip out to re-stock shelves when customers are around. Some shops do it – some don’t.

          • Incidentally, when I wrote to the shops complaints department, they told me that they actively encourage their staff to wear masks when loading shelves, but, unless the law changes, they can’t force them to. NONE of us like wearing masks in hot weather, but if it’s a matter of life and death…

        • I work in a care environment t and myself and my colleagues have to wear a mask all the time so what’s the difference

    • Most people never kept a distance anyway-Tesco at Westwood had the one way system but the majority of customers & staff ignored it & piled in close to you. The biggest problem in most shops is air conditioning units etc recirculating the germs. People all through this have been walking around sneezing/coughing into the air or their hands, rather than tissues.

  3. The requirement is to wear face *coverings*, not face *masks*.
    The greatest impact, hopes the government, will be with the economy. The expectation is that with mandatory face coverings in shops, more people will feel comfortable about going out to spend, spend, spend, thus getting the wheels of the economy going again.
    Face coverings had nothing to do with reducing C19 deaths from 14 per million in April to 0.97 per million yesterday. More than 75% of UK residents didn’t routinely wear face coverings until they were mandatory, so they were not responsible for the remarkable drop in infection.
    Social distancing and self isolation where appropriate is what did the job.
    It’s interesting to note that the infection rate is just beginning to rise again, reflecting the government’s decision to ease lockdown and open up pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes.
    The basic rule still applies: stay at least two metres away from others as much as you possibly can.

    • I’m not going to wear a face mask unless the law says I must. A covering, yes, but not a mask. I’d rather do the absolute minimum of shopping. I don’t see how shopping can have become more risky now than it was earlier in the pandemic.

  4. Hey you guys writing on here. Wake up for heaven sake. This is the Government playing its mind control games on you. Such a shame you are all falling hook line and sinker, willing your narrow minded party line, mainstream approach. Look it is obvious, there may well be a virus, but for goodness sake it’s virtually harmless.

    Clearly following all this contrived nonsense, created and redrafted constantly to confuse, anoy and stress the public will lead to greater loss. Your freedom, mass unemployment, complete mental health collapse for those willing to listen to the constant, unintelligible diatribe offered by Johnson and Hancock.

    Be safe and sensible, but stop assuming we’re a bunch of idiots.

  5. Try telling “it’s virtually harmless” to the relatives, friends, workmates, neighbours, colleagues etc of the more than 50,000 who have died of C19 in the UK alone.
    It most certainly isn’t “virtually harmless”

  6. Andrew, did you know that many death certtificates were and are being falsified? The Government even admits there is a mistake in data collection.

    Prepare to say farewell to all those about to pass away due to hospital waiting lists and that in itself is murder. Wake up and smell the truth, don’t hide behind the false narrative proffered by the Westminster minstrels.

    • I don’t think there’s any doubt about people being dead. What’s interesting is the number of “excess deaths”, ie compare deaths during March, April erc compared with the average for the past 5 years.
      Initially, the “excess deaths” were very large; at the moment, they’re actually lower than normal (probably and tragically because there has been an excess of excess deaths among the elderly and sick in the earlier months of the outbreak.

  7. Marva, I now know why Thanet is on another planet, it’s because of the likes of you. Stuck in the grammar school left brain stodge that is incapable of opening the mind to reality. It is so sad, why follow and fall off the cliff like the lemmings you all are?

    • I’m not sure that it’s Thanet that’s on another planet.
      I’m curious to know why you think your idea of reality differs from that of other people; what characterises a “grammar school left brain” reality compared with, say, a “secondary modern frontal lobe” reality.
      Do you think, in your own version of reality, that being rude and abusive gives your argument more weight, in the way that Endlish people abroad make themselves better understood by shouting at foreigners?

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