Indoor theatre performances will not be able to resume this weekend as initially planned, prime minister Boris Johnson has announced.
He said due to increases in cases across Europe and in the UK, he could not allow venues to begin performances from August 1 as previously indicated.
The government had said that indoor performances in England will be allowed to begin again from August 1, subject to social distancing.
Andrew Lloyd Webber held a pilot event at the London Palladium last week, aimed at demonstrating how live events could resume safely.
However, Johnson said today that he had always warned the virus could come back, and said he had always indicated he would take action in response.
He said cases were increasing across Europe and infections were rising in the UK and that “we cannot ignore this evidence”.
“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,” he said, highlighting new measures in the North aimed at restricting further increases.
He said that the government had to “squeeze that brake pedal in order to keep it under control”.
"On Saturday August 1 we had hoped to reopen in England a number of the higher risk settings that had remained closed, and today I’m afraid we’re postponing those changes for at least a fortnight.
"That means that 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 crowds in sports venues will not take place and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted," he said.