The United Kingdom has announced a delay in rolling back the Coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England.
The BBC reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was prepared to continue measures that were easier for those living for the past few months, but concerns over an increase in cases forced him to stop any such plans, The BBC reported.
Johnson said in a news conference, “On Saturday 1 August we expected to reopen in England which closed several high-risk settings … today I’m afraid we will be in for a fortnight at least.” The changes are postponed ”according to Reuters.
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“I know that the actions we are taking will be a real shock to many … I am really, really sorry about this but we just cannot take the risk.”
In the next phase, the casinos and bowling alleys were slated to reopen, and weddings were scheduled to increase the capacity to 30 people.
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Pilot programs allowing limited capacity for sports venues and convention centers are also being delayed. Face coverings will be mandatory for indoor settings, such as places of worship and theaters.
The decision follows reports of an increase in positive tests in some parts of the country.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also announced in a tweet on Thursday that the government planned to increase lockdown measures in parts of northern England including Blackburn, Burnley, Hendburn, Pendley and Rossendale.
“The spread is largely due to meeting at home and not following social distances,” Hancock said. “So from tonight, people from different regions will not be allowed to meet each other in these areas.”
On Friday morning, he said, “We take this step with a heavy heart, but it is so important that people follow social removal rules so that we can control the virus and save lives.”
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Johnson said the government will begin enforcing the rules for face covering from August 8.