Basingstoke's ice rink has been once again been forced to delay its reopening after the government cancelled lockdown easing measures due to come into force at the weekend.

Planet Ice, at the Leisure Park, was all set to open its doors on Saturday for the first time since March, but with less than 24 hours to go until the big day, the Prime Minister announced that they were not able to at all.

Boris Johnson cancelled all lockdown easing measures scheduled for August 1, which also included some leisure centres and beauty salons being able to resume facial treatments.

And it was the second time in a matter of weeks that Planet Ice were forced to revise their plans after government advice has changed.

As previously reported, the rink was due to reopen on Saturday, July 25, alongside other leisure facilities, but the government were forced to backtrack after ice sports were "included by accident" on the list of places that could reopen.

A spokesperson for Planet Ice, whose facility, the Basingstoke Arena, is home to ice hockey team The Basingstoke Bison, said that they were disappointed and frustrated by the delay.

"All of our staff have worked so hard over the last few days to get the buildings ready for the opening on Saturday and we know we speak for everyone in our industry when we say how upset we are by this decision," the spokesperson continued.

"The Prime Minister has indicated that we could provisionally re-open in two weeks’ time on Saturday, August 15 and Planet Ice will work towards that date. We will regularly post information and updates on our website and social media channels to keep everyone informed.

"The Government announcement has come as a surprise to all of us. We understand that people have purchased ice skating and we will ensure we deal with all customer concerns as quickly as possible.

"A further announcement will be made by us regarding moving bookings and we will honour all admissions for a future date and where relevant refunds."

The move came just days after Mr Johnson himself warned that there were signs of a second wave across Europe, as well as after the Foreign Office advised against all but essential travel to Spain and its islands.

The use of face coverings in public places will be extended from August 8, whilst the shielding of these clinically extremely vulnerable to the virus has been paused.

Employers now have more freedom over whether to ask their staff to return to offices.

But users of Planet Ice have expressed their disappointment over the decision.

Gary Blakemore called it the "frustrating but sensible option", and whilst Tim Hills agreed, he labelled the decision as not "consistent", citing that his son can train for football but not ice hockey.

He added: "Gutted. Two very upset children. How can it be safe to go to a pub and on a plane, play other sports, but you can't go ice skating?"

The team at Planet Ice had put in place a raft of measures to try and make their building safe ahead of reopening, which included additional sanitising stations, social distancing indicators, and a maximum capacity on the ice.

There was also a new online booking system for public skating and moved to cashless payment only.