UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced a three-tiered CCP virus restriction system, in an effort to simplify the patchwork of often complicated and confusing restrictions imposed across England.
The three tiers are medium, high, and very high, categorized by the infection rates of the areas. The new rules will be debated and voted on in Parliament on Tuesday. If passed, they will apply from Wednesday.
Most of England would currently be at the medium level, where current national measures would apply. These include the closure of hospitality venues at 10 p.m. and the “rule of six,” meaning only up to six people can meet together indoors or outdoors.
All areas currently under local lockdowns, plus Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire, and a small area of High Peak, would be categorized as having a high level of infections. In those areas, people can’t meet with anyone outside their household or support bubble indoors. The rule of six applies to outdoor and public spaces.
The “very high” alert level means the “transmission rates are rising most rapidly” in the area, and the local NHS “could soon be under unbearable pressure without further restrictions,” Johnson told Parliament.
Private social gatherings indoors and in gardens would be banned in these areas, and pubs, bars, gyms, leisure centers, casinos, libraries, beauty salons, and hairdressers could be prevented from opening. Restrictions on travel would also be recommended.
“The exact restrictions at this level, Very High, will be worked out with local leaders, along with tailored packages of support,” Johnson said in a speech to the nation.
The government didn’t want to go back to another national lockdown but can’t “let the virus rip” at the cost of “an intolerable death toll,” Johnson told Parliament.
“This is not how we want to live our lives, but this is the narrow path we have to tread, between the social and economic trauma of a full lockdown, and the massive human and, indeed, economic cost of an uncontained epidemic,” he added.
But as millions of people across the United Kingdom grapple with the restrictions, the hospitality sector says it is being brought to its knees by the government.
Karen Strickland, landlady of The Grapes pub in Liverpool, said their income was already down by 70 percent with the current enforced countrywide closing time of 10 p.m., and the government’s support scheme help was not enough.
“It’s absolutely horrendous. My staff, some of them still haven’t come back to work yet, their job’s just not here for them,” she said, adding it made no sense to single out pubs.
A group of brewers and pub owners said before the announcement that they would have been “left with no option” but to seek a judicial review legal action, should Johnson shut down pubs in the Greater Manchester area, which was then labeled as a tier two area.
“The plan is on hold,” Sacha Lord, a night club and events operator, told Reuters. “We are still going to get the troops ready because obviously things are changing on a daily basis. … We are not out of the zone yet.”
The World Health Organization’s special envoy on COVID-19 David Nabarro on Thursday appealed to world leaders, urging them to stop using lockdown as their primary method to control the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, citing the likely “doubling” of poverty and child malnutrition.
Reuters and Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.