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Prime minister 'squeezes the brake' on lifting of Covid-19 restrictions planned for this weekend

31 July 2020 by
Prime minister 'squeezes the brake' on lifting of Covid-19 restrictions planned for this weekend

The lifting of restrictions to allow wedding receptions for up to 30 people from tomorrow (1 August) has been paused across England.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has said the opening of ‘higher-risk' settings this weekend will not go ahead due to a rising prevalence of the virus in the community for the first time since May.

The lifting of restrictions, which would also have seen the opening of venues such as casinos, bowling alleys and indoor performance sites, will be postponed for at least two weeks.

A list of public indoor places where facemasks are required will also be extended, although the prime minister did not mention hospitality venues such as cafés, pubs and restaurants in his initial announcement. Clarification will be expected shortly.

This afternoon's press conference followed the imposing of further restrictions in areas of northern England last night.

Johnson had said hospital admissions, cases and deaths continue to fall, but added: "We can't fool ourselves we are exempt [to increases in cases] and must react to signs of trouble".

The relaxation of advice around homeworking planned for tomorrow will go ahead, with the prime minister having said that employers have gone to significant lengths to prepare workplaces. The move had been welcomed by contract caterers when announced in July.

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