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Wedding receptions with up to 30 guests will be put on hold until ‘at least’ August 15, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today.

He said the planned re-openings and lockdown easings for August 1 were being postponed for a fortnight due to recent virus outbreaks.

Johnson said: “With those numbers creeping up, our assessment is that we should squeeze that brake pedal… in order to keep the virus under control.

“On Saturday August 1, you’ll remember we had hoped to reopen a number of the higher-risk settings that had remained closed and today I’m saying we’re postponing those changes for at least a fortnight.

“That means until August 15 at the earliest casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and the remaining close-contact services must remain closed.

“Indoor performances will not resume, pilots of larger gatherings in sports venues and conference centres will not take place, and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted.”

He added that taking these steps would be ‘a real blow’ to many people – especially those who had Eid celebrations or weddings planned.

“I know that the steps we are taking will be a real blow to many people, to everyone whose wedding plans have been disrupted or who cannot now celebrate Eid in the way that they would wish,” Johnson added.

“And I’m really, really sorry about that but we cannot simply take the risk.”

After last night’s announcement that northern parts of England would recall some of its lockdown easing measurements, Twitter was rife with backlash as it was announced on the eve of Eid al-Fitr, the religious holiday where Muslims celebrate the breaking of Ramadan.

Twitter user @totalkharnage said: ” Imagine someone told you at 10pm on Christmas Eve you couldn’t go round to your family tomorrow to celebrate Christmas when you’d made plans, tons of food, bought presents etc.

“Middle England would be in uproar.”

Johnson added: “We cannot be complacent and I won’t stand by and allow this virus to threaten to cause more pain and more heartache in our country.”