Lockdown measures within the UK had been set to be additional eased this weekend, however on Friday Britain “put the brakes on” these plans and imposed new guidelines on hundreds of thousands of households in northern England, following considerations 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, might be delayed till at the least August 15, as will the reintroduction of indoor performances and pilot schemes of bigger crowds at sporting occasions, Prime Minister 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,” he instructed a Downing Street briefing.
Increase in new infections
His announcement got here hours after the federal government elevated regional lockdown measures – beneath which individuals from completely different households are banned from assembly indoors – for some 4 million individuals throughout Greater Manchester and elements of Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated the restrictions had been being introduced in as a result of individuals had been “meeting and not abiding (by) 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.
Government information Friday confirmed there was “some evidence that the incidence of new infections has increased in recent weeks” in England.
Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty stated: “I don’t think it is helpful” to speak but of a second wave sweeping throughout Europe, however admitted the actions taken to date to ease restrictions had been “at the edge” of what may very well be accomplished safely.
“The idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong and what we’re seeing is that we’re at the outer edge of what we can do,” he stated.
The opposition Labour get together warned that the delayed reopening of elements of the financial system may have dire penalties for employees and referred to as on the federal government to assist these affected.
“With millions of workers still furloughed, including those in casinos, night clubs, ice rinks and bowling alleys, the government’s one-size-fits-all plan risks accelerating the jobs crisis,” stated MP and former get together chief Ed Miliband.
The native lockdown measures got here into impact at midnight (23:00 GMT Thursday), simply hours after being introduced.
Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, backed the measures as a result of improve in infections.
“The picture in Greater Manchester has changed over the last seven days,” he instructed the BBC.
“We have a rise in nine out of the 10 boroughs, the reality on the ground is changing.”
Scots ought to keep away from Manchester
The new measures had been additionally criticised by Labour 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.”
The measures additionally got here into power simply as celebrations of the Muslim pageant Eid al-Adha started. Areas affected by the most recent lockdown have important Muslim populations.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in the meantime warned her residents in opposition to 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 shouldn’t be the primary native lockdown – England has lifted most of its restrictions nationally however imposed retailer closures across the central metropolis of Leicester on the finish of June.
Britain’s official virus loss of life toll stands at 45,999 however is believed to be as excessive as 65,000 if extra deaths are used as a information.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)