Jul 31, 2020 - World

Boris Johnson pauses England's coronavirus reopening

Boris Johnson

Photo: Charlotte Graham/WPA Pool/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday postponed easing some portions of England's coronavirus lockdown due to rising cases, the BBC reports.

Why it matters: The decision, which comes after a move to reimpose far more stringent lockdown measures across some cities in northern England, highlights the difficult balance countries across the world face between reopening their economies and keeping their caseloads in check.

What's happening: Entertainment venues like casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks were set to open on Aug. 1, but that has been pushed back until at least Aug. 15.

  • The mandatory use of face masks was expanded from shops and public transit to other settings, including movie theaters and places of worship.

What they're saying: "We have probably reached the limits of what we can do in terms of opening up as a society. ... The idea that we can open up everything is clearly wrong. Choices will need to be made," said England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty.

  • Johnson added that "the prevalence of the virus in the community, in England, is likely to be rising for the first time since May."
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