British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday imposed a tiered system of further restrictions on parts of England including closing some pubs as the COVID-19 outbreak accelerates, though anger is rising at the cost of the curtailment of freedoms.
Johnson’s three-tiered system, announced in Parliament, is an attempt to standardize a patchwork of often complicated and confusing restrictions imposed across England. Lawmakers will vote on the move.
The lockdowns will include shutting pubs and bars in areas placed into the “very high” alert level. So far, Merseyside is the only area yet in that category. Gyms, leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos located there will also close, Johnson said.
“We must act to save lives,” Johnson told Parliament, adding that he did not want another national lockdown.
“If we let the virus rip, then the bleak mathematics dictate that we would suffer not only an intolerable death toll from COVID, but we would put such a huge strain on our NHS with an uncontrolled second spike that our doctors and nurses would simply be unable to devote themselves to other treatments.”
Health officials say the freshest data showed infections were rising across the north of England and in some more southerly areas, too, while the virus was creeping up age bands toward the elderly from those aged 16-29 years.
Manchester intensive care consultant Jane Eddleston said 30 per cent of critical care beds were taken up with COVID-19 patients — and starting to impact on health care for others.
Photo credit: Hannah McKay/Reuters
News source: Reuters