Further easing of lockdown measures in England planned for 1 August postponed 'for at least a fortnight'.
Boris Johnson has announced he will reverse a decision to relax a range of lockdown restrictions due to come into force on Saturday.
UK PM Boris Johnson halts plans to ease restrictions in England due to start on Saturday. Key points:
Further easing of restrictions which had been due to come in tomorrow in England are postponed until 15 August at the earliest - this includes the opening of casinos, bowling alleys, indoor theaters and concerts with social distancing.
Changes to wedding celebrations to allow up to 30 guests are also postponed.
Shielding will be paused nationally from 1 August as planned.
Face covering rules will be extended to additional settings in England from 8 August, including museums. There will be a greater police presence to enforce this.
The introduction of new restrictions in northern England is not a "return to lockdown" - but further local restrictions will be implemented as needed.
No change to work-from-home guidance from tomorrow - meaning more people will still be encouraged to go in to their workplaces. The PM promised to "come down hard” on workplaces which people do not feel are safe.
People who test positive for coronavirus will not be discharged into care homes
New slogan from the PM: "Hands, face, space, get a test”
Rise in infection rates in several parts of the world is not a "second wave", says Professor Chris Whitty, but if people increase the number of people they meet, the virus rate will increase "inevitably"
The PM's decision to postpone further easing of lockdown restrictions is "understandable", shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has said.
I told Times Radio: "Two weeks ago, Boris Johnson was suggesting it could all be over by Christmas and I think many people thought there would be a kind of lull in this virus across the summer."
But the Labor MP said the increase in infection rates and outbreaks across Europe were a reminder the virus hadn't gone away.
Mr Ashworth added: "Of course, it comes off the back of the devastating news yesterday that we've now had the highest death rate in Europe confirmed."
Repeating the assertion that the government was "too slow early in responding to this virus", I said: "I think it's understandable why they've had to make these decisions so quickly and dramatically in the last 24 hours."