By Alistair Smout and Paul Sandle
LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday postponed a planned easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England after a rise in infections amplified fears of a second deadly surge in COVID-19 cases.
Just hours after Britain imposed tougher measures on swathes of northern England, Johnson announced that casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks, due to reopen on Saturday, would remain shut for at least two more weeks.
Wedding receptions would also not be allowed.
“We’re now seeing a warning light on the dashboard,” Johnson told reporters at an online news conference from Downing Street when asked about a second surge.
“Our assessment is that we should now squeeze that brake pedal in order to keep the virus under control.”
Britain’s death toll from COVID-19 is over 55,000 when deaths from suspected cases are included, and it has the highest “excess death”