Last reviewed 31 July 2020

As people living in Greater Manchester and other parts of northern England were hearing that they cannot mix with other households in private homes or gardens, the Prime Minister has announced a general slowdown in the pace of the rest of the country moving out of lockdown.

He said that the Government has decided to postpone the reopening of "high risk settings" such as casinos, concerts and bowling alleys from 1 August to 15 August and that face covering rules will be extended to additional settings in England from 8 August, including museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.

There will be a greater police presence to enforce these requirements.

Mr Johnson said that he had asked the Home Secretary to work with the police and others to ensure that the rules which are already in place are properly enforced. 

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said: “We have to be realistic — the idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong. We are at the outer edge of what we can do and so choices will have to be made”.

The Prime Minister agreed that indoor performances will not resume, pilots of larger gatherings in sports venues and conference centres will not now take place, and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted.

He emphasised that the advice to people to return to the workplace from 1 August, where possible, had not changed and he promised to “come down hard” on employers if people do not feel safe at work.

People must continue to take all necessary precautions, Mr Johnson, said as he unveiled the Government’s latest slogan: "Hands, face, space, get a test”.

In a sign of the way that situations are set to vary across the country, it was also announced that the stricter lockdown requirements recently imposed on Leicester are to be eased.