Coronavirus: Tighter national rules considered by government


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Reuters

New England-wide measures which may see hospitality companies pressured to close are being considered by the UK government to attempt to sluggish a second surge of coronavirus instances.

A brief interval of national rules- a “circuit break” of some weeks – could possibly be introduced within the subsequent week, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg stated.

Schools and most workplaces could be saved open throughout these weeks.

But no last choices have but been reached on the following plan of action.

At a gathering on Wednesday night time, the government’s chief scientific adviser and medical officer predicted one other severe outbreak of the illness.

They forecast that there could be a big variety of deaths by the top of October if there have been no additional interventions.

The doable measures being mentioned embody asking some hospitality companies to shut, or limiting the opening hours of some pubs and eating places nationwide.

The virus is now understood to be doubling each seven to eight days, with greater than 3,300 new instances reported on Thursday.

It comes as almost two million individuals in north-east England are the most recent to face native lockdown rules, which got here into drive on Friday. The restrictions will ban individuals from assembly different households, and eating places and pubs must shut at 22:00 BST.

New native lockdown rules are additionally set to be introduced in for Lancashire – excluding Blackpool – the BBC understands.

The 4 nations of the UK are all accountable for their very own lockdown restrictions, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland implementing barely totally different rules to England.

  • UK coronavirus instances up by 3,395 on Thursday
  • Which areas are beneath lockdown?

Options for ministers

Under the so referred to as “circuit break”, restrictions could possibly be reintroduced in some public areas nationwide for a interval of some weeks, however colleges and workplaces could be saved open.

One of the concepts urged by the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) is that some components of the hospitality sector could possibly be requested to shut.

No 10 can also be contemplating the opportunity of limiting the opening hours of pubs and eating places throughout the nation, as has already occurred in some areas.

However Prime Minister Boris Johnson is known to be deeply reluctant to order one other national lockdown, the place everybody could be requested to remain at residence and companies to shut.

This week he described the potential impression of a second national lockdown on the financial system as “disastrous”.

On Thursday morning, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is known to have introduced warnings of the harm to the financial system.

And ministers are additionally involved in regards to the impression of extra restrictions on every day life on those that want remedy for non-Covid associated sicknesses.

However, the government has not but taken any last choices in regards to the subsequent plan of action.

It isn’t but clear what impression this week’s new rule banning social gatherings of greater than six individuals may have on the speed of enhance, and No 10 is constant to observe the info and take scientific recommendation.

But it appears more and more doubtless that inside the subsequent week, the prime minister will tighten the national rules once more, our correspondent stated.

On Friday, components of north-east England joined different areas throughout the UK in being beneath native lockdown rules.

The measures have an effect on Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Northumberland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and the County Durham council space.

As nicely because the ban on households mixing and early closures for pubs and eating places, individuals also needs to solely use public transport for important journey and care houses are closed to guests.

  • Read extra: North-east England native lockdown begins

An announcement on a doable lockdown in north-west England is predicted from the government in a while Friday.

The restrictions for Lancashire, however not Blackpool, are anticipated to incorporate the same ban on households mixing and a requirement for hospitality companies to shut early.

It isn’t but identified when the measures will probably be launched though the BBC understands it is going to be imminent.

There are additionally native lockdown restrictions elsewhere within the UK – together with Birmingham, Greater Manchester, Caerphilly, and the Belfast council space.

In different key developments:

  • The variety of new weekly instances in Europe has exceeded the quantity reported through the first peak of the pandemic, the pinnacle of the World Health Organization in Europe has warned
  • The head of the UK government’s testing system – which has confronted criticism in current weeks – stated demand for reserving assessments was three to 4 occasions the quantity obtainable
  • People arriving into England and Scotland from Singapore and Thailand might want to quarantine from Saturday morning
  • Figures present almost two thirds of adults at the moment are travelling to work once more

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