'Get through winter together': Johnson announces curbs that could last six months

Friday, 25 Sep, 2020

Scotland will introduce additional nationwide restrictions on household gatherings that go further than Johnson's new rules for England, its First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

Barely after a week of asking his people to get back to work, Johnson has requested for all those who can work from home to continue doing so. As per the new restrictions, all the bars and restaurants in the country must be shut at 10 PM.

Boris Johnson has announced a raft of new measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus that could apply in England for six months.

These establishments will also be restricted to table service only and bar staff and non-seated customers, shop workers and waiters will be obligated to wear face masks. "So these rules will be enforced by tighter penalties".

The announcement comes a day after the British government's top scientific and medical advisers said new coronavirus infections were doubling every seven days in the country and could rise to 49,000 a day by mid-October if nothing was done to stem the tide.

'The Government needs to enter this conversation and let's see where this conversation goes because what we've seen in the last six months, when we voted in the Coronavirus Act about six months ago, nobody expected it to last this long.

Face masks have been mandatory on public transport, for taxi passengers and those shopping.

"We have to acknowledge that the spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events", Johnson told the House of Commons.

In a prime-time televised address to the nation, the prime minister said the winter would be hard, adding that his strategy would keep the economy moving while containing Covid-19 contagion.

British sports fans had been hoping to gradually return to stadiums from October 1 as professional football, rugby league and union return for new seasons but that has been put on hold.

From Monday, weddings and receptions will be allowed a maximum of 15 people, although funerals can still have up to 30 in attendance.

He further warned that "significantly greater restrictions" could be imposed if deemed necessary, stating "similar regulations" would be taken across the United Kingdom after he met with the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The R number is now between 1.1 and 1.4.

But this move, as well as a raft of other restrictive measures which come into effect today, stop short of the total national lockdown which the British government imposed in March, when the infections first reached a peak.

"We know that the biggest influences in people's risk-taking behaviour is alcohol".

The Prime Minister says there will be a greater police presence on the street to enforce the rules and, if necessary, the military will be called in to assist.

On Tuesday, Johnson revealed that the government was imposing a new set of rules on England to help battle the spread of COVID-19 across the country, which has got scientists anxious about a rapid increase of cases in the winter months.