British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered bars and restaurants to shut earlier in a bid to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of COVID-19.
After government scientists warned that the death rate would soar without urgent action, Johnson said the new restrictions in England could last for six months although he stopped short of imposing another full lockdown.
“I’m sorry to say that as in Spain and France and many other countries, we have reached a perilous turning point,” Johnson told parliament following emergency meetings with ministers and leaders of the United Kingdom’s devolved governments.
The BBC reports:
After a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee this morning, Mr Johnson told the House of Commons he would provide police and local authorities with extra funding to enforce the regulations and the option to draw on military support.
He said the new rules were “carefully judged” to achieve the maximum reduction in the R number – which measures how quickly the virus is spreading – but causing “the minimum damage to lives and livelihoods”.
He said this was “by no means a return to the full lockdown of March”, with no general instructions to stay at home, and businesses, schools, colleges and universities remaining open.