UK: PM puts brakes on eased England lockdown

1st Aug 2020
UK: PM puts brakes on eased England lockdown

By Karim El-Bar

 

LONDON (AA): 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 during Downing Street Press Conference.

“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 at the press conference cautioned of “limits of opening up society”.

“We have probably reached near the limits of what we can do in terms of opening up society,.” he said.

“If we wish to do more things in the future we may have to do less of some other things,” he said. “The idea that we can open up everything, and keep the virus under control, is clearly wrong.”

Johnson’s press conference came on the day when the Government had reduced some of the relaxation of the lockdown in some areas in England due to increase in the rate of Covid-19 transmission – Greater Manchester, East Lancashire & some areas in West Yorkshire where different households will not be able to meet indoors. However, the the proposed lockdown did not affect public places or places of worship which are Covid compliant. So  Eid AlAdha prayers were able to be held as planned in mosques which were Covid-19 compliant.
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The government’s scientific advisory group (SAGE) 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.

Additional report from The Muslim News

[Photo: Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing Aug 1 lockdown ease has been postponed for two weeks at Covid -9 press conference in 10 Downing St on 31 July 2020. Photographer: Andrew Parsons/ No 10 Downing St]

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