Following an increase in the infection rate of COVID-19, the Government announced last Friday that the further lockdown easement measures due to operate from 1st August have now been deferred for at least two weeks. Consequently, venues such as casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks remain closed, indoor performances in theatres and concert halls cannot be staged and close contact services in beauty salons cannot be performed. The relaxation allowing wedding receptions of up to 30 people was also cancelled although ceremonies can take place in line with COVID-Secure guidelines.

The staging of some “pilot” sports events such as snooker, cricket and horse racing last weekend -with a limited number of the public present as a possible prelude to allowing spectators to attend venues again – had to be held behind closed doors instead and there is now some doubt as to whether the target date of 1st October for a return of spectators to stadiums and other venues will be met.

Please also note that with effect from 8th August, Face Coverings, already mandatory on public transport, in shops, supermarkets, banks, building societies, post offices and national health settings will be required in more settings such as cinemas, museums, galleries, places of worship, libraries, community centres, nail, beauty and hair salons and barbers (other than where necessary to remove for treatment). For full details please see here.

Anyone with Coronavirus symptoms can now get a test whatever their age by using the NHS 111 online service or, if you cannot get help online, by calling 111. You must not go to a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy.