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Mon, 3 August 2020

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Explained: All the lockdown changes paused by Boris Johnson — plus new mask rules being extended

Explained: All the lockdown changes paused by Boris Johnson — plus new mask rules being extended

Plans to allow beauty salons to reopen have been dropped (PA)

2 min read

Boris Johnson announced on Friday that some of the planned changes to lockdown restrictions due to take place in England on 1 August in England were being paused amid a rise in cases. Here’s what was announced.

Which lockdown changes have been paused?

Casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks, which were due to reopen from 1 August, will now stay shut until at least 15 August. 

And close-contact services such as beauty treatments will also no longer be allowed to resume from Saturday.

Pilots of indoor performances will now be postponed until further notice and planned trials to allow larger crowds in sports venues and conference centres will not take place.

Initially, it was announced that wedding receptions with up to 30 guests would be allowed to take place from 1 August, but the PM confirmed that this restriction would too remain in place.

He insisted, however, that wedding ceremonies could still take place provided they were in line with Covid-secure guidelines.

And, Government advice that employees should return to their place of work from 1 August remains unchanged, Boris Johnson said, as “employers have gone to huge lengths to make workplaces safe”. 

Schools are still expected to reopen in September, with the PM insisting getting children back in classrooms was a "national priority".

What are the new rules on masks?

From 8 August, it will be mandatory to wear face coverings in more indoor settings including museums, galleries cinemas, and places of worship.

However, Government advice is that masks should be worn in these settings from today. 

It is currently a legal requirement to wear a face covering on public transport, in transport hubs, in retail settings and in supermarkets. 

Why have some lockdown changes been scrapped?

Mr Johnson said the planned lockdown changes were being scrapped following fresh ONS figures which suggested there had been a “slight increase” in positive coronavirus cases in the community last week.

The data, which does not include infections in hospitals or care homes, also showed that the average number of new daily cases had jumped from 2,800 to 4,200 per day.

The PM added that “with those numbers creeping” the Government had decided to “squeeze that brake pedal” on the easing of lockdown.

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