PRIME minister Boris Johnson confirmed the further easing of lockdown due on August 1 would be postponed for at least two weeks.

Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks, indoor performances, wedding receptions of up to 30 people were set to reopen or resume today but will stay closed until August 15 at the earliest.

Mr Johnson also confirmed face coverings will be mandatory in indoor settings where people are likely to come into close contact with people they do not know from August 8.

Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, the prime minister 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.”

“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.”

Reacting to the news, Tim Seward, chairman of then BH Area Hospitality Association, said: “We are wearing masks and doing what it said anyway.

“The only change will be guests wearing masks in public which most of them are doing anyway.”

Meanwhile, Andy Lennox, founder of Wonky Table, a pressure group for the hospitality industry in the conurbation, said: “Most of the hotels have not booked weddings because 30 people unattainable.”

Hollywood Bowl, which has a centre in Poole Road and Tower Park, had initially sent an email to people on its subscriptions list confirming it was reopening today.

However, since Mr Johnson’s announcement, it has released a statement confirming any bookings will be rearranged.

It said: “Following the latest directive from the government we are disappointed that our English bowling centres remain temporarily closed. If you have an upcoming booking due to take place before August 14, we’d love to be able to re-book this for you at a new date in the future and as a thank you for your support we would like to offer you a free drink for all members of your party.”