The UK has announced delays in restoring restrictions on coronavirus locking in England.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set up to further ease the measures residents have been living with for the past few months, but concerns about an increase in cases have forced him to halt some such plans, the BBC reported.
“On Saturday 1 August we had hoped to reopen in England a number of higher risk settings which remained closed … Today I am afraid to postpone those changes to at least fifteen,” he said Johnson at a news conference, according to Reuters.
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“I know the steps we̵7;re taking will be a real blow to a lot of people … I really, really regret it but we just can’t take risks.”
In the next phase, casinos and bowling were reopened for opening, and capacity for weddings was set to increase to 30 people.
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Pilot programs that allow limited capacity for sports venues and conference centers are also delayed. Surface coating is mandatory for interior settings, such as places of worship and cinemas.
The decision follows reports of an increase in positive tests across parts of the country.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also announced in a tweet on Thursday that the government planned to increase locking measures in northern parts of England, including Blackburn, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale.
“The spread is mostly due to families coming together and not staying at a social distance,” Hancock said. “So from midnight tonight, people from different homes will not be allowed to meet each other inside these areas.”
On Friday morning, he added, “We take this step with a heavy heart, but it’s important that people follow the rules of social breakdown so we can control the virus and save lives.”
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Johnson said the government will begin enforcing rules for surface coatings starting Aug. 8.