United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned he would go for tougher restrictions if people do not respect the latest rules on social distancing. Addressing through a television broadcast on Tuesday night, PM Johnson said “we must reserve the right to go further” if situation goes worst. A new 3-stage measures were announced on Tuesday with Mr. Johnson warning they could go on for up to 6 months. The officer workers are being told to return back to the work from home regimen while rules on face coverings are once again made functional. Pubs, hospitality sites and restaurants will have to shut down by 22:00 BST and the number of people attending the weddings have been scaled down to halves. The penalties for breaking he rules have also been beefed up to £200 on the first offence.
Hospitality venues will also have to close the business early in Scotland and Wales but Scotland has chosen to go further with banning household to household interactions from Wednesday. Northern Ireland has also already banned households from mixing up during amid the fears of second wave. The government’s chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty believes it is inevitable England will have to replicate Scotland’s actions. Conservative MPs are also in favor of going after the visits to households as a “next step”, according to Nicholas Watt of BBC Newsnight.
“They don’t like it but they could probably live with it,” he said, though he added that if the government went further with restrictions on the hospitality sector “that would really create insurrection on the Tory benches”.
Mr. Johnson will have to answer MPs in the House of Commons later during questions session. His warning of tougher measures comes 6 months after the Kingdom’s COVID-19 lockdown – first imposed on March 23, 2020 – which witnessed strict curbs on movements of the citizenry to tackle the deadly disease. People were ordered to only leave their shelters for one of four reasons, including shopping for food and medicine, medical needs, exercise, and travelling to and from work “where absolutely necessary”.
In his pre-recorded address form Downing Street, Johnson said was “spiritually reluctant” to place curbs on the freedoms of Brits, “but unless e take action the risk is that we will have to go for tougher measures later, when the deaths have already mounted”. He added that while the vast majority from the masses have show compliance with the measures so far, “there have been too many breachers”. Former Labour Home Secretary Alan Johnson has bashed the PM for blaming the public for the surge in cases.
“The public have been extremely compliant and obedient,” he told BBC’s Newsnight.
He continued: “But the message has not always been clear and it is preposterous of the prime minister to even suggest in his speech that the problem here is somehow the public”.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt, former health secretary appealed for more “unifying messages” form the four units of Kingdom. Present at BBC’s Newsnight, he said there had been problems with the way the government is disseminating the messages about eh pandemic to the public, pointing out “different messages coming out from local and national government and different messages from the devolved administrations and the administration in London”.
“Wherever possible it is much better to stick together, because simplicity of messaging is one of the things that will make the biggest difference in terms of complying with the rules,” he said.