Face coverings will soon be mandatory in more public places in England, according to new government guidance.
Speaking in a press conference on 31 July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that face masks must be worn in indoor venues like cinemas, galleries and places of worship from Saturday 8 August.
Addressing the nation, the Prime Minister said, "We will also extend the requirement to wear a face covering to other indoor settings where you are likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.
"We now recommend face coverings are worn in these settings, and this will become enforceable in law from August 8."
Face masks are already mandatory in shops and on public transport.
Delayed easing of restrictions
During the same press conference, Mr Johnson announced that some planned easing of lockdown restrictions will not happen on 1 August, as initially expected.
Bowling alleys, casinos and skating rinks will not reopen their doors on that date. It is now thought that these businesses will be allowed to open on 15 August, at the earliest.
Small wedding receptions of up to 30 people will also not be permitted to take place, and indoor performances will not resume.
The Prime Minister revealed that the change of plan had been made to avoid a second nationwide lockdown.
"At this stage, we are not changing the rules on social contact nationally. I don’t want to tell people to spend less time with their friends. But unless people follow the rules and behave safely, we may need to go further," he said.
According to Mr Johnson, one in 1,500 people in the UK now have coronavirus, compared to one in 1,800 on 15 July, and one in 2,000 on 2 July.
More local lockdowns
Local lockdowns have now been put in place across parts of the North of England.
On the night of 30 July, it was announced that the following areas would be asked to adopt stricter lockdown measures again, due to high numbers of coronavirus cases:
- Greater Manchester
- Blackburn with Darwen
The city of Leicester - which had already been placed under a local lockdown - will also follow the same restrictions as the above locations.
People from different households in these places are no longer allowed to meet each other indoors.