Boris Johnson to address Commons as United Kingdom braces for 'tough six months'

Henrietta Strickland
September 24, 2020

The new measures, announced in response to a rising number of Covid-19 cases, were confirmed this evening by First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill.

The new rules are "in no way a return to the (March) lockdown", Johnson said: schools and colleges will remain open and businesses can stay open in a "COVID-compliant way".

The prime minister said staff in the hospitality and retail sectors, as well as passengers travelling in taxis will have to wear face coverings.

A further easing of the lockdown restrictions from August 1 meant that it was up to employers to discuss with workers whether it was safe to return.

Meanwhile, Hancock said the Government was "determined" to keep schools open during the next phase of the coronavirus response, adding: "The evidence is that schools aren't where a lot of transmission happens, it's more about people socialising".

The limit on guests at weddings will be reduced from 30 to 15 - while funerals will still be allowed to have up to 30 guests.

It may of course be that the rule that said we may socialise in groups no bigger than six, introduced earlier this month - whose breach will be punishable by fines that look more of a threat now that soldiers will be deployed to free-up police officers for social distancing enforcement - will be seen in time to have been the most important social distancing measure.

Britain will face an exponentially growing death rate from Covid-19 within weeks unless urgent action is taken to halt a rapidly spreading second wave of the outbreak, the country's senior medics said on Monday. He chaired special meetings of the Cabinet and the Cobra emergency committee Tuesday morning.

In a telecasted declaration on Monday, the UK's clinical consultant Sir Patrick Vallance stated with "cases doubling roughly every seven days", there might be 50,000 new cases a day by mid-October if the surge continues unabated. He will also make a televised address to the nation about efforts to combat the virus.

But new Covid-19 cases are rising by at least 6,000 per day in Britain, according to week-old data, hospital admissions are doubling every eight days, and the testing system is buckling.

On Monday, the chief medical officers of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland raised the virus alert from three to four, the second-highest level, on the advice of the Joint Biosecurity Center.

Vallance said it is possible that some vaccine could be available in small amounts later this year, but it is more likely that a vaccine will be available early next year, although that is not guaranteed.

"It is now estimated that roughly 70,000 people in the United Kingdom have [COVID-19] infection and around 6,000 per day are getting the infection", said Vallance.

The UK has reported 3,899 new cases over the past 24 hours, as well as 18 deaths.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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