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Dagenham bowling alley reopening paused as Boris Johnson squeezes brakes to control coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 14:06 31 July 2020

Hollywood Bowl centres including Dagenham'’s in Cook Road had been due to welcome back bowlers from Saturday (August 1). Picture: PA Media

Hollywood Bowl centres including Dagenham'’s in Cook Road had been due to welcome back bowlers from Saturday (August 1). Picture: PA Media

Archant

A further easing of lockdown across England has been postponed with the prime minister warning the country “cannot be complacent” amid a rise in coronavirus cases.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has put the brakes on the easing of lockdown following a spike in cases. Picture: Peter Summers/PA.Prime minister Boris Johnson has put the brakes on the easing of lockdown following a spike in cases. Picture: Peter Summers/PA.

Measures due to be lifted on Saturday, August 1 – such as the reopening of bowling alleys including Dagenham’s Hollywood Bowl – have been postponed for at least two weeks.

A Hollywood Bowl spokesperson said: “Following the latest directive from the government we are disappointed that our English bowling centres remain temporarily closed.

“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of our customers and team members.”

Face coverings will also become mandatory in indoor settings such as museums and places of worship from August 8, Boris Johnson said.

England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, warned it might not be possible to ease lockdown further.

The announcement comes after local lockdown measures were announced in parts of north west England and West Yorkshire, banning people from different households meeting indoors or in gardens. It follows a spike in virus cases.

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Speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Friday, Mr Johnson said: “As we see these rises around the world, we can’t fool ourselves that we are exempt.

“We must be willing to react to the first signs of trouble.”

He said that with numbers rising “our assessment is that we should squeeze that brake pedal... in order to keep the virus under control”.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there has been an increase in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus in England.

According to the ONS, between July 20 and 26 there were around 0.78 new Covid-19 infections for every 10,000 people in England - equal to around 4,200 new cases a day.

This is up from an estimated 2,800 new cases a day in the previous week.

Prof Whitty told the briefing 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.

“The idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong.”


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