The news comes 18 days after a planned media campaign urging people to go back to work was supposed to start.
Yesterday, the British government’s top scientific and medical advisers said the doubling rate of CCP virus infections was between seven and 20 days, and the number of cases could rise to 49,000 a day by mid-October if nothing is done to stem the tide.
On Monday, the government reported 4,300 new confirmed cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, the highest number since May.
In a statement delivered to the UK Parliament on Tuesday announcing new restriction measures for England, Johnson said the UK has reached “a perilous turning point” as cases surge and antibodies were detected in only 8 percent of the population.
For the next six months, those who can work from home are asked to do so, while those who can’t may continue to attend their workplaces.
Hospitality venues such as pubs, bars, and restaurants are limited to table-service only, and have to close at 10 p.m. each day. Takeaway services are not affected by the curfew.
Requirement to wear face coverings will be extended to include retail staff, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles, and staff and customers in indoor hospitality.
The government’s COVID-secure guidelines for businesses such as retail, leisure, and tourism will become mandatory. Businesses found breaching the guidelines can be fined and even closed.
From Sept. 28, the maximum number of people who can attend a wedding is reduced to 15, half the current allowance, while a group of 30 will still be allowed to attend a funeral. Indoor team sports will be restricted to groups of up to six people.
In addition, the original plan to reopen business conferences, exhibitions, and large sporting events on Oct. 1 will be put on hold.
Deaths Still Low
While the death rates in the UK remain relatively low so far, with a seven-day average of 21 deaths a day last week, compared with a peak of 942 deaths on April 10, the Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warned that a surge in cases in other countries soon led to a rise in deaths.
The chief medical officers of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland on Monday raised the UK’s virus alert from three to four, the second-highest level, on the advice of the Joint Biosecurity Center. They said cases of COVID-19 were rising “rapidly and probably exponentially.”
Johnson said Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland were “taking similar steps.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report