Lockdown rules update: What you can & can’t do now as Boris Johnson postpones easing in England

BORIS Johnson has announced a new set of national lockdown rules following sweeping new restrictions across the North West of England.

In his speech, the PM pulled the breaks on current plans for reopening the country. Here are the key points of his message.

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Boris announced that the country is throwing the breaks on easing lockdown measures


Boris announced that the country is throwing the breaks on easing lockdown measuresCredit: PA:Press Association

What was announced at the July 31 briefing?

The PM went over the latest ONS figures, calling them “encouraging” but said that “the prevalence of the virus in England is rising for the first time since May”.

He said that the numbers indicate that the virus is on the rise adding “we just can’t afford to ignore this evidence”.

He then announced that the national plan to reopen is being stalled until August 15 to “squeeze that brake pedal in order to keep the coronavirus under control”.


The Prime Minister listed the new changes to the national lockdown plan:

Wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted, as will any large gatherings.

You must now wear a mask in all indoor settings including museums and places of worship, enforceable in law from August 8.

The reopening of leisure centres including skating rinks, casinos and bowling alleys will now be pushed back.

Socially-distanced theatres and music venues had also been expected to open, which will not be happening now.

Johnson said: “On August 1 we had hoped to reopen in England a number of the higher risk settings, and I’m afraid we’re postponing those changes for a fortnight – casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks must remain closed. Indoor performances will not resume.

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“Pilots of larger crowds in sports venues and conference centres will not take place.

“We have to act rapidly in order to protect the ones we love.” he said.

He also said that the national pause on shielding will proceed on August 1 as planned for most of the country.

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, added that we have “probably reached the limits of what we can do in terms of opening up society.”


Here’s the list of businesses that can’t reopen on August 1 as planned:

  • Casinos
  • Bowling alleys
  • Leisure centres
  • Ice-skating rinks
  • Facial treatments at beauty salons
  • Theatres, music halls and other venues can open for socially distanced audiences

Businesses than can reopen from October:

  • Sports stadiums welcome back fans
  • Conferences can go ahead
  • Strip clubs

Businesses that must stay closed:

  • Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques
  • Sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars
  • Indoor play areas, including soft-play areas

The move comes after the Office for National Statistics revealed the number of coronavirus cases had increased in late July, with 35,700 people still infected with the bug.

Bombshell newcoronavirus rules left Brits confused after 4.5million people were issued with fresh lockdown demands with just three hours’ notice on July 30.

The government revealed at 9.16pm that households in Greater Manchester, parts of East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire were banned from meeting each other indoors from midnight last night.

The orders came as England was hit with 846 new positive cases – the highest number in 32 days – adding to fears the country is facing a second wave of the virus.

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Here’s what you can and can’t do now:

From August 1 (with exception to those in local lockdowns):

  • The clinically extremely vulnerable can stop shielding
  • You must now wear a mask in all indoor settings including museums and places of worship, enforceable by law from August 8.
  • Small wedding receptions and sit-down meals for up to 30 people are allowed, as are funerals with the same numbers
  • Employers will have more discretion on how to ensure their staff can work safely including arrangements around working from home

From July 25

  • Sports facilities and venues, including such as indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks were opened

From July 24

  • Face coverings were made mandatory in shops, supermarkets and public transport.
  • People are also strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in other enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet
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Here’s what to expect over the coming months

During his July 31 announcement, Boris said that the lockdown is to be stalled, but there are still plans for later this year.

Future plans are all subject to change should coronavirus infections pick up again.

From August 15

The government will review the situation and could go ahead with plans to reopen businesses that were originally meant to open August 1.

From September 1

  • Schools, nurseries and colleges will open for all children and young people on a full-time basis
  • Universities are working to reopen as fully as possible too

From October 1

  • The government hopes to bring back audiences in stadiums, and allow conferences and other business events to start up again in a COVID-19 Secure way


Don’t miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.



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