LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Boris Johnson leaves his grace-and-favour residence in Carlton Gardens near Buckingham Palace on July 18, 2018 in London, England. The Former Foreign Secretary is expected to make his first speech today after resigning from government 9 days ago. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, confirmed on Friday that coronavirus case numbers were ‘creeping up’ and he was determined to slam the brake pedal on easing lockdown.

Accordingly, the lockdown loosening planned for today has been pushed back to August 15 “at the earliest” while mandatory wearing of face coverings will be extended in England to include galleries, cinemas and places of worship.

There will also now be a greater police presence to ensure people wear masks and comply with social distancing.

The Office for National Statistics estimates there are now 4,200 new infections every day, up from 2,000 per day at the end of June – and as a result, the government had no choice but to delay the further reopening of the economy.

The PM said: “until August 15 at the earliest casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and the remaining close contact services must remain closed, indoor performances will not resume, pilots of larger crowds in sports venues and conference centres will not take place and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted but ceremonies of course can continue to take place in line with Covid secure guidelines.”

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