Nationwide lockdown changes which were due to take effect as of tomorrow have been scrapped with hours to spare. Plan to reopen bowling alleys, casinos and ice rinks have been postponed for at least two weeks.
People in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire have been banned from meeting someone indoors despite pubs and restaurants remaining open.
A new study found half of the English public do not understand the new lockdown rules.
Researchers from the University College, London (UCL) surveyed more than 70,000 adults across England.
Around 45 percent of respondents said they have a “broad understanding” of the current rules.
In Scotland, the figure was much higher and reached 75 percent and 61 percent in Wales.
Only 14 percent claimed to understand the rules completely now lockdown has eased.
This figure was higher in Scotland (27 percent) and Wales (18 percent).
During a press briefing today, Mr Johnson said: “On Saturday August 1, you’ll remember we had hoped to reopen a number of the higher-risk settings that had remained closed and today I’m saying we’re postponing those changes for at least a fortnight.
“That means 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 gatherings in sports venues and conference centres will not take place, and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted.”
This is equal to around 4,200 new cases per day – up from an estimated 2,800 new cases a day in the previous week.
The R value for the UK has also seen a slight rise, increasing from 0.7 to 0.9 to between 0.8 to 0.9, according to figures published by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).
Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty admitted the idea that the country could open “everything” up and still keep the virus under control is “clearly wrong.”
He said: “I think what we’re seeing from the data from ONS and other data is that we have probably reached near the limit or the limits of what we can do in terms of opening up society.
“So what that means potentially is that if we wish to do more things in the future, we may have to do less of some other things.
“And these will be difficult trade-offs, some of which will be decisions for government and some of which are for all of us as citizens to do.
“But we have to be realistic about this. The idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong.”