Further easing of restrictions on the blockade of the English population, which is due to take place this weekend, has been postponed for at least two weeks due to an increase in coronavirus cases.
The casino and bowling alleys will remain closed as Boris Johnson said it was time to “squeeze the brake pedal.”;
Face masking will be mandatory in more rooms, such as movie theaters.
England’s chief physician, Professor Chris Whitty, has warned that the UK could ease restrictions.
Appearing together with the Prime Minister in a special informational report of Downing Street, prof. Whitty said the “idea that we can open everything and control the virus” is wrong.
Asked if it was safe for English schools to fully open all pupils in the autumn, he said it was a “difficult balancing act”, but “we have probably reached the limit or limits of what we can do when it comes to opening up society”.
Speaking at the briefing, Mr Johnson said changes to the guidelines for those who protected during the pandemic and advice to employers were planned.
Following a review of facilitated locking in England, new restrictions are being imposed on people in northern England following new virus outbreaks.
The prime minister said progress in the fight against coronavirus was continuing, with daily and weekly deaths falling, but warned that some European countries were “trying” to control it. The UK needs to be prepared to “respond”, he said.
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Figures released by the National Statistics Office (ONS) on Friday show more than 4,200 new infections a day in England, up from 3,200 a week ago.
The daily cases calculated by the ONS – based on a sample of households that have taken swab tests – are higher than the laboratory-confirmed numbers reported by the Department of Health and Welfare (DHSC) because they include asymptomatic people who would not otherwise have applied for the test.
Highlighting the ONS data, Mr Johnson added: “The spread of the virus in the English community is likely to increase for the first time since May.”
He said it was time to “squeeze that brake pedal to control the virus” as the numbers slipped.
He urged people to “follow the rules, wash their hands, cover their face, keep their distance and take a test if we have symptoms,” summing up the advice with the slogan: “Hands, face, space, get a test.” .
According to the latest DHSC data, another 120 people died of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom, bringing the total number of viral deaths to 46,119.
The number of cases in England is increasing for the first time since May.
ONS data show that there are about 4,200 new infections a day, compared to 3,200 a week ago.
This is not a return to March. The height of the epidemic, however, says it.
Every restriction we ease increases the chances of coronavirus spreading, and government scientific advisers have always warned that there is not much room for freedom to lift restrictions and still lift them.
The increase in infections is a warning that we may have already crossed the unblocking threshold.
That’s why Boris Johnson has delayed some of the planned deregulation in England and face masks will become a more common sight.
The big question remains around schools. If the current rules lead to more cases, can we open schools as well? If we open schools, will we have to close anything else?
It is worth noting that all this happens in July, and scientists suspect that the virus will spread even more easily during the winter months.
You can read more about James here.
Mr Johnson said the planned update of the “higher risk parameters” on 1 August. Will be postponed for at least two weeks.
This means that at the earliest on 15 August. It will not be possible to:
- casino refurbishment, bowling alleys, ice rinks and other close liaison facilities
- internal performances
pilots of larger gatherings in sports venues and conference centers
- extension of wedding receptions to 30 people
beauty treatments covering the face such as eyelashes, eyebrows and threading treatments
Fans took part in the World Snooker Championships when it started on Friday as a pilot to test the return of a larger crowd to the sports venues. Now the tournament will take place without spectators at least until August 15, which is when the finals are scheduled to start.
Wedding sector “itching back”
Neil White, 51, of Chorley, Lancashire, runs a wedding photography business. Of the 44 weddings he had planned this year, only three remained. “I think I’m talking to the rest of the wedding industry because there’s a lot of anxiety and stress about the future,” he said.
Mr White said that while businesses such as cafes and restaurants could have opened, the wedding sector “seems to have had a brush under the carpet”, although “itching to get me back to work”.
“If this continues next year, there are a lot of businesses that are going to close,” he added.
The British Beauty Council said the changes “were very disappointing for a sector that has already seen delays in opening up”.
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Separate face coverings will be mandatory in more indoor locations where people are likely to have contact with strangers such as museums and worship services from next weekend. They are already needed in shops, banks, airports and other domestic transport hubs.
The Prime Minister said the face coating rules would be implemented by law from 8 August.
However, he said the plan to suspend protection against the virus for the most vulnerable will be implemented from Saturday.
This means that about 2.2 million. People who have been isolated in England during a pandemic can return to work if they cannot work from home if their workplace is safe in Covid.
As planned, recommendations for employers will also change from early August, Mr Johnson said.
The latest report came shortly after new lockout rules were introduced in parts of northern England, including Greater Manchester, eastern Lancashire and parts of western Yorkshire. The rules include a ban on separate preparation of households in homes and private gardens.
The change came as Muslim communities set to celebrate Eid this weekend and almost four weeks after restrictions were lifted across England – for the first time since the end of March, people were able to meet indoors.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said the government had made a “right decision” on new rules for parts of northern England, but called on it to “improve” what it called “particularly poor” communication.
Ministers said police forces and councils would be empowered to implement the new rules.
Other important changes:
- The cafes and restaurants in Leicester, where the UK’s first local closure took place, are due to open on Monday as a number of restrictions in the city have been lifted.
- A 14-year-old girl is being treated for a life-threatening illness after being “severely abandoned” by her family during her lock-up. The Family Division of the High Court was asked to intervene to take care of the girl
Thousands of people landed on the beaches of Bournemouth, Brighton and Poole, prompting some local councils to warn day-tripers to stay away.
- Torr MP Craig Whittaker defended his claim that some Muslims in West Yorkshire “do not take the pandemic seriously”.
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