The United Kingdom has announced a delay in lifting coronavirus restrictions in England.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was ready to continue mitigating the measures that the population had lived with in recent months, but fears of an increase in cases forced him to suspend such plans, the BBC reported.
“On Saturday, August 1, we hoped to reopen a number of risky environments in England that remained closed … Today, I fear we are postponing these changes for at least 14 days,” Johnson told a news conference, according to Reuters.
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“I know the steps we are taking will be a real blow to many people … I̵7;m really sorry, but we just can’t take the risk.”
In the next phase, casinos and bowling alleys were planned to reopen and the capacity for weddings was increased to 30 people.
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Pilot programs that allow for limited capacity for sports venues and conference centers are also being postponed. Facial coverage would be mandatory for indoor environments such as services and cinemas.
This decision follows reports of an increase in positive tests in some parts of the country.
Health ministers Matt Hancock announced on Thursday that the government plans to increase blocking measures in parts of northern England, including Blackburn, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale.
“This increase is mainly due to household encounters and the inability to distance themselves socially,” Hancock said. “So tonight at midnight, people from different households will not have the opportunity to meet in these spaces inside.”
He added on Friday morning: “We are taking this step with a heavy heart, but it is so important that people follow the rules of social distance so that we can control the virus and save lives.”
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Johnson said the government will begin enforcing rules on face coverings on August 8.