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
- Blackburn with Darwen
- Leicester City
More to come