Further easing of Covid-19 restrictions - due to come in this weekend - has been postponed for at least two weeks by the Prime Minister, amid concerns over an increase in coronavirus cases.

Speaking in Downing Street, Boris Johnson said "we must squeeze the brake pedal" to keep the virus under control. Wedding receptions of up to 30 people were meant to be allowed as part of the changes but cannot yet happen. Face coverings will be mandatory in more indoor settings, such as cinemas.

He also postponed the reopening of casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks and other close contact services, indoor performances, pilots of larger events to 15 August.

The Prime Minister also imposed further restrictions on slowly opening up the admission of people to large sporting events, including the Goodwood race meeting, snooker at the Crucible and cricketing.

Mr Johnson said progress against coronavirus was continuing with  the daily and weekly number of deaths falling, but warned that some European countries are "struggling" to control it. The UK must be ready to "react", he added.

But business leaders in Greater Birmingham called for a “rapid improvement” in Downing Street communications.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “Ensuring there is no second peak or second national lockdown is critical for businesses. But so too is the need for a rapid improvement in Government communication.

“One day’s notice on a huge change in guidance for those businesses due to reopen tomorrow and communication of local lockdown measures via twitter late in the evening are not effective ways of engaging businesses. In order to enforce government guidance, businesses need clear messaging and time to understand and apply it.

“This also reinforces the need for a more nuanced approach to government support for businesses including sector-specific support and ongoing access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for those businesses most impacted by ongoing Covid-19-secure measures and local lockdowns.”

A weekly ONS survey shows the prevalence of the virus in communities is likely to be rising for the first time since May and last night the health secretary announced new restrictions on household contact in the North West and parts of West Yorkshire.

Guidance for employers having more discretion over whether employees work from home or return to the workplace from tomorrow remains unchanged.

Extending the requirement to wear a face covering to other indoor settings (such as museums) where you are likely to encounter individuals you would not usually meet will become law from 8 August.