LONDON: Britain on Friday “put the brakes on” easing lockdown measures and imposed new guidelines on tens of millions of households in northern England, following issues over a spike in coronavirus infections.
The reopening of high-risk actions comparable to casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks, which was meant to start on Saturday, shall be delayed till not less than August 15, as will the reintroduction of indoor performances and pilot schemes of bigger crowds at sporting occasions, Boris Johnson introduced.
“I have said our plan to reopen society and the economy is conditional … that we would not hesitate to put the brakes on if required. Our assessment is that we should now squeeze that brake pedal,” the Prime Minister stated in a Downing Avenue briefing.
Johnson, who earlier this week warned of a “second wave” of circumstances in Europe, added that Britain “cannot be complacent” about growing an infection numbers.
His announcement got here hours after the federal government elevated regional lockdown measures — below which individuals from totally different households are banned from assembly indoors — for some 4 million folks throughout Better Manchester and components of Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Well being Secretary Matt Hancock stated the restrictions have been being introduced in as a result of folks have been “meeting and not abiding to social distancing”.
“We take this action with a heavy heart, but we can see increasing rates of Covid across Europe and are determined to do whatever is necessary to keep people safe,” Hancock stated on Twitter.
Authorities information launched confirmed there was “some evidence that the incidence of new infections has increased in recent weeks” in England.
Nevertheless, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty stated “I don’t think it is helpful” to speak but of a second wave sweeping throughout Europe.
The native measures got here into impact at midnight, simply hours after being introduced.
Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, backed the measures as a consequence of a rise in infections.
“The picture in Greater Manchester has changed over the last seven days,” he advised the BBC. “We have a rise in nine out of the 10 boroughs, the reality on the ground is changing.”
However the brand new measures have come below criticism from the opposition Labour social gathering for being introduced late at night time.
Labour chief Keir Starmer stated on Twitter: “Announcing measures affecting potentially millions of people late at night on Twitter is a new low for the government’s communications during this crisis.”
Additionally they come into pressure simply as celebrations of the Muslim pageant Eidul Azha start. Areas affected by the most recent lockdown have vital Muslim populations.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned her residents towards travelling to the affected areas. “To… minimise risks of onward transmission here, @scotgov is STRONGLY advising against non essential travel between Scotland and these parts of the north of England,” she wrote on Twitter.
It isn’t the primary native lockdown to be put in place — England has lifted most of its restrictions nationally however imposed retailer closures across the central metropolis of Leicester on the finish of June. Hancock stated Leicester would now comply with the identical ban on conferences between totally different households being utilized to Manchester and components of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire.
Britain’s official virus dying toll stands at 45,999 however is believed to be as excessive as 65,000 if extra deaths are used as a information.
Printed in Daybreak, August 1st, 2020