BORIS Johnson has delayed the further easing of lockdown measures after parts of the country were forced to go into a ‘local lockdown’.

It was announced late last night, Thursday, that those living in Greater Manchester, parts of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire would no longer be allowed to mix with other households inside homes, private gardens, pubs or restaurants.

Speaking in Downing Street today, Friday, Mr Johnson said the easing of lockdown restrictions due on August 1, including allowing small wedding receptions and the reopening of bowling alleys and casinos, has been postponed for at least two weeks as a result.

“I’ve consistently warned that this virus could come back and that we would not hesitate to take swift and decisive action as required,” he explained.

“We should now squeeze that brake pedal in order to keep the virus under control.

“I know that the steps we are taking will be a real blow to everyone, and I’m really, really sorry about that but we simply cannot take the risk.

"We will of course study the data carefully and move forward with our intention to open up as soon as we possibly can."

Mr Johnson announced that the rate of infection in the community is ‘likely to be rising’ for the first time since May and ‘we just cannot afford to ignore this evidence’.

As well as delaying the easing of restrictions, Mr Johnson announced that the requirement to wear a face covering will be extended from August 8 to include galleries, museums, cinemas and places of worship.

The latest announcement does not affect the previous guidance issued for those who are shielding.