Covid: PM contemplating new restrictions amid second coronavirus wave


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Media captionNewcastle pub-goers adapt to new coronavirus measures

Boris Johnson is spending the weekend contemplating whether or not to tighten Covid-19 measures in England, after saying the UK was “now seeing a second wave”.

The authorities is known to be a ban on households mixing, and lowering opening hours for pubs.

At least 13.5 million individuals, roughly one in 5 of the UK inhabitants, are already going through native restrictions.

Former authorities adviser Prof Neil Ferguson stated new measures had been wanted “sooner rather than later”.

The scientist, whose recommendation was essential to the choice to enter lockdown in March, stated: “If we leave it another two to four weeks, we will be back at [infection] levels we were seeing more like mid-March.

“That’s clearly going to trigger deaths as a result of individuals will likely be hospitalised,” he informed the BBC.

Mr Johnson solely has direct energy over restrictions in England. The devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can set their very own rules.

Widespread development of the virus has been recorded throughout the nation, with circumstances doubling each seven to eight days.

There had been an extra 4,322 confirmed circumstances on Friday – the primary time the each day whole of optimistic checks has exceeded 4,000 since 8 May.

In Bolton, one returning holidaymaker, who didn’t self-isolate and as a substitute went on a pub crawl, is being partly blamed for the city’s spike in circumstances.

Meanwhile, governments throughout Europe have introduced new restrictions to deal with the surge in infections.

Speaking on Friday, Mr Johnson stated he didn’t “want to go into bigger lockdown measures” however that tighter social distancing rules may be vital.

He added: “Clearly when you look at what is happening, you have got to wonder whether we need to go further than the rule of six that we brought in on Monday.”

The authorities is known to be contemplating a brief interval of tighter rules throughout England – “a circuit break” – which may contain closing hospitality venues.

However, colleges and workplaces would keep open.

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No 10 can also be limiting the opening hours of pubs and eating places throughout the nation, as has already occurred in lots of areas of north-east England, the place pubs needed to shut at 22:00 BST on Friday.

Labour deputy chief Angela Rayner known as for the federal government to carry an emergency Cobra assembly, have a look at the science and enhance its communication so “people can do the right thing”.

“If the government are able to do that, we will back them,” she informed the BBC.

She additionally stated it had been “shocking” to see how “monumentally” the federal government’s take a look at and hint system had failed.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford are additionally calling for a Cobra assembly.

Ms Sturgeon stated the following few days can be “critical” to keep away from one other full-scale lockdown in Scotland.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan stated he was extraordinarily involved by proof of the accelerating pace with which coronavirus was spreading within the capital.

“We will be considering some of the measures which have already been imposed in other parts of the UK,” he stated.

“I am of the firm view that we should not wait, as happened six months ago, for this virus to again spiral out of control before taking action.”

The authorities’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) stated the R quantity – representing the variety of individuals an contaminated individual will go the virus on to – had risen to between 1.1 and 1.4.

Although deaths stay at a really low degree, Sage stated the rise within the R quantity “shows that we are moving to wider spread growth in transmission at a faster rate”.

The sharp rise in UK circumstances over the past two weeks comes amid ongoing issues with the federal government’s take a look at and hint programme, resulting in individuals struggling to entry checks.

Prof Neil Ferguson stated a two-week mini lockdown may assist to “reset” the virus.

“We have a perfect storm right now, of people – as they’ve been told to – getting back to normal, schools reopening, a surge in cases and therefore the testing system is under strain,” he informed the BBC.

“Unfortunately we do have to roll the relaxation of measures back a little bit and get contacts down in the population.”

Asked if this could imply extra restrictions on going overseas, he stated the larger threat was regular on a regular basis interactions, which wanted to be “dialled back a little”.

‘UK’s trajectory will not be written in stone’

The query is now not the place we’re, however the place we’re heading.

Yes, the variety of individuals contaminated, in hospital with Covid or dying from the illness are all at far decrease ranges than on the peak.

Scientists will quibble concerning the precise definition of a “second wave”, however all information factors to rising numbers of infections.

The authorities’s science advisers say the quantity is now doubling each week.

If these traits proceed then infections may go from the estimated 6,000-a-day to greater than 100,000 by mid-October.

It is that trajectory, which isn’t written in stone, the federal government is attempting to vary.

There are questions for politicians, from whether or not it ought to do a “circuit-break” to enhancing Test and Trace.

But, with proof suggesting just one in 5 persons are following the self-isolation rules after they get sick, there are additionally questions for all of us.

New restrictions for giant elements of England’s North West, West Yorkshire and the Midlands come into power on Tuesday.

The newest areas to see additional measures put in place embody Lancashire (excluding Blackpool), Merseyside and the Cheshire boroughs of Warrington and Halton.

Additional restrictions are additionally being put in place in Wolverhampton, Oadby and Wigston in Leicestershire, and all elements of Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale.

In whole, nearly 4.7 million individuals will likely be affected by the brand new restrictions, which ban separate households from assembly one another at home or in personal gardens.

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