UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a second stay-at-home lockdown across England, starting from next Thursday and to run for four weeks until a minimum of the start of December, as a way to maintain the hastily increasing coronavirus infections.
Addressing a briefing from 10 Downing Road on Saturday, Johnson said there was once no choice but to be humble in the face of nature” and unless hard action is taken now the peak of mortality in the country could be even greater than the first wave triggering a medical and moral catastrophe.
The new England-wide measures will lapse by December 2 and, unless a further intervention in the meanwhile, England will revert to the current three-tier localised lockdown system.
Now is the time to do so because there is not any alternative,” said Johnson.
“You will have to stay at home, you will have to only leave home for education, work whether you can not earn a living from home, recreational exercise with one person from another household or your household, and to escape injury or harm, to buy food and essentials or supply deal with vulnerable people as a volunteer,” he said, adding that this lockdown would be less “restrictive” than the first lockdown of earlier this year.
He also confirmed an extension to the furlough scheme until December, the wage make stronger scheme for businesses which was once set to end from November 1.
Non-essential shops and leisure and hospitality venues, such as restaurants, bars and pubs, will be required to shut down.
Takeaways will be allowed to stay open and people can only meet one person from outdoor their household outdoors.
Unlike the first total lockdown in March, schools, colleges and universities will be allowed to stay open.
Johnson also indicated that he sincerely hopes that the restrictions will also be lifted enough for families to come together in time for Christmas but set no further details around that.
I am very optimistic that this will feel better by next spring, he said, indicating no remarkable changes are to be expected until early 2021.
The newest lockdown plans will be tabled in Parliament next week for a debate and vote by Wednesday, for them to come in effect from Thursday.
At the Downing Road briefing, Johnson was once joined by England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, and the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance.
Across practically all the country, the rate of increase is on rapid increase, said Whitty, as he presented maps of the newest coronavirus spread across England.
Possibly half a million people or more are with infections, based on different models in relation to death rates, there is potential for things to be twice as poor as the first wave, famous Vallance, as he described the situation as a very grim picture.
The devolved administrations of the UK will continue to follow their own already strict lockdown policies, calling on residents to chorus from non-essential travels to and from England.
Wales is currently in a firebreak lockdown which is because of be in place until November 9 and Scotland’s stringent four-tier system, with Tier 4 akin to a whole shutdown, is set to come into force from Monday.
Northern Ireland, meantime, has been in total lockdown since the middle of October, scheduled for a month.
Earlier on Saturday, several media reports had indicated plans for the month-long lockdown were afoot after Johnson met his most senior Cabinet colleagues on Friday to speak about the conceivable toughening of restrictions in light of worsening coronavirus infection rate and hospital cases.
Downing Road moved to cause forward the PM’s announcement, to begin with deliberate for Monday, in the wake of the leaked media reports.
Meantime, the United Kingdom recorded another 21,915 confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the complete since the pandemic began to 1,011,660.
Another 326 people were reported to have died inside 28 days of a positive test this weekend, taking its death toll past 46,500.
Documents from the government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M-O) revealed this week that England has breached its “fair worst-case” scenario for COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions for the winter months.
The scientists warned that the number of day-to-day coronavirus deaths in England is in line with that scenario, but “is nearly sure to exceed this inside the next two weeks”.
Infection rates are currently soaring across much of Europe, prompting new forms of lockdown across Germany, France and Belgium.
The Opposition Labour Party accused the United Kingdom government of dithering over the issue of what has prior to now been described as a short circuit-breaker total lockdown.
We could have saved more of the economy and reduced the have an effect on of [lockdown] with a shorter, earlier circuit-breaker that coincided with half term, said Labour’s shadow commerce minister Lucy Powell.
Scientific advisers at the top of government imagine it is now too late for a two-week national circuit-breaker to have enough of an effect and a longer national lockdown is needed to drive the reproduction number, or R value, of the virus below one.
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