British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Friday that a relaxation of lockdown rules in England set for Aug. 1 will be postponed by at least two weeks as the rate of coronavirus’ transmission across the country rises.
“At every point I have said our plan to reopen society and the economy is conditional – it relies on continued progress against the virus,” Johnson said.
“We should now squeeze that brake pedal to keep the virus under control,” he added.
As of Saturday, casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks, and beauty parlors were all due to open, as were indoor performances and wedding receptions of up to 30 people. This relaxation of rules will be postponed by at least two weeks.
Moreover, as of Aug, 8, facial masks will be compulsory in galleries, cinemas, and places of worship.
“Unless people follow the rules and behave safely we may need to go further,” Johnson said.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said: “We have probably reached near the limits of what we can do in terms of opening up society.”
The government’s scientific advisory group said it did “not have confidence” that the rate of transmission in England was below 1, meaning it was no longer certain that each infected person was infecting fewer than one other person, raising the specter of a resurgence in cases.
The British government has already warned of a second wave from Europe.
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