Iowa Democrats Will Use A Smartphone App At Caucuses, Despite Cybersecurity Concerns

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Boris Johnson has taken the brakes off the easing of lockdown as he announced that plans for wedding receptions, sporting events and indoor performances will resume,

>Anna Mikhailova reports


The Prime Minister said the changes will allow people to “get back to more of the things they have missed” since the health crisis began after rising infection rates appeared to have “levelled off”.

However Mr Johnson also introduced tougher penalties for repeatedly failing to wear face masks in public places.

Fines will double each time someone is found in breach of the rules, up until a maximum of £3,200. Hairdressers will also now be required to wear surgical face masks.

Mr Johnson also announced that people hosting an illegal rave or gathering of more than 30 people will now be issued spot fines. Government sources on Wednesday night said this could be up to £10,000.

Last weekend, West Midlands Police shut down 125 parties and raves, and closed a pub, to stop illegal gatherings and anti-social behaviour.

Face coverings are mandatory for most people in shops and supermarkets and on public transport. The rules also cover buying takeaways in cafes and shops.

From last week they have also been required in museums, galleries, and places of worship. Anyone failing to wear a face covering while shopping has been subject to a fine of up to £100, or £50 if paid within 14 days.

All the measures that were put on hold two weeks ago by the Prime Minister will now be reinstated from this Saturday.

Mr Johnson had postponed the changes, which were meant to come in on August 1, amid concerns over a second wave of coronavirus. At the time, the Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said the country had “probably reached near the limit or the limits" of what can be done to reopen society.

Wedding receptions of up to 30 people will now be allowed from Saturday, as will the reopening of casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks. Beauty salons, tattoo studios and spas can offer close “services and treatments”.

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