Eight ways lockdown could be tightened to stop coronavirus ripping through UK

Coronavirus instances are nonetheless growing in lots of elements of the nation which has raised fears restrictions in England could be tightened additional.

The risk of modifications comes as Matt Hancock stated that lockdown restrictions in England will stay in place for as “lengthy as they’re obligatory”.

Boris Johnson is coming underneath growing stress to clampdown on the principles amid fears they’re too weak to include the present unfold of the virus.

Ministers are additionally making a push on compliance – with Home Secretary Priti Patel showing at yesterday’s No 10 press convention with a warning that the Government will again police in implementing the principles.

Today, Matt Hancock urged folks not to “take the mickey” out of the restrictions, however stated it was “not possible to know” after they could be eased.

“We will hold the restrictions in place not a second longer than they’re obligatory, however we are going to hold them in place so long as they’re obligatory,” he advised Sky News.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Hancock stated the present guidelines have been at all times “underneath evaluate” however “what actually issues now’s the diploma to which everyone follows the present guidelines.”

He added: “Of course you possibly can at all times make modifications on the margin, however we introduced in a really important restriction, the keep at residence measures… It is feasible then to make additional restrictions, however what I’d say is that a very powerful factor is compliance with the present measures, that is the factor that’s going to make the distinction.”

England’s chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty stated earlier this week that the NHS faces the “most harmful scenario” in residing reminiscence, with report deaths and hospital admissions because of the virus.

As of Wednesday, it seems unlikely many lockdown guidelines will really be modified wholesale – however with fears rising about folks following the principles ministers are coming underneath elevated stress to revisit rules.

That means some issues like curfews appear unlikely despite the fact that Matt Hancock refused to rule them out.

But ministers are clear there could be some tightening up and larger enforcement.

Pressure has been constructing for a number of days – with Labour chief Keir Starmer claiming lockdown guidelines “might not be powerful sufficient”, whereas Prof Peter Horby, chairman of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, stated current measures might need to be tightened additional.

He advised the BBC: “Now we’re in a scenario the place every little thing that was dangerous up to now is now extra dangerous so we’re going to have to be very, very strict in regards to the measures.

“Whether the present restrictions are sufficient, I believe it stays to be seen. It will be per week or two earlier than it turns into clear.

“They might be enough however we now have to be very vigilant and if there’s any signal that they don’t seem to be, then we’re going to have to be even stricter I’m afraid.”

We check out the assorted ways the principles could be tweaked or strengthened – some extra probably than others.

No mask-no entry in drive in supermarkets

Boris Johnson has urged the general public to respect coronavirus rules when out grocery procuring and shopping for takeaway espresso, amid “deep” considerations from meals retail staff over their security.

It comes as a number of grocery store chains launched insurance policies insisting that nobody can enter a grocery store with out a face protecting.

A masks is already required – however the rule has hardly ever been enforced.

Shopworkers’ union Usdaw stated that it had been “inundated” with complaints from its members – who’re classed as key staff – and known as for supermarkets to revert to extra stringent in-store measures.

Retail bosses have additionally urged that additional police assist is required to assist implement measures, which they are saying are main to a rise in abuse in direction of workers.

The prime minister stated folks wanted to “do the suitable factor” by adhering to social distancing when out.

“We want to implement the principles in supermarkets. When individuals are getting takeaway drinks, in cafes, then they want to keep away from spreading the illness there, keep away from mingling an excessive amount of,” he stated.

More limits on train – and modifications to who can meet

During the March lockdown, folks have been restricted to train resembling a run, stroll or cycle, both alone or with different members of their family.

But this time, train can be taken with one particular person from one different family, in a public place like a park.

No10 insiders are involved this rule is being “abused” for socialising. The train rule is being stored underneath evaluate together with all others, a supply stated.

Like within the first lockdown, individuals are suggested to solely take one type of train per day. But like within the first lockdown this is not in legislation.

What is totally different is you could meet somebody from one other family to train with – as long as you might be socially distanced.

But experiences have urged that this will be the primary change in train coverage – with a return to just one family having the ability to participate in a given exercise on the playing cards.

Mr Hancock didn’t rule out a change to the rule on train when quizzed on it Wednesday morning.

He stated he “very reluctant to take away this rule” which individuals see as a “lifeline”.

But he added: “There are some people who find themselves stretching that rule.

“Therefore folks say you need to do away with the rule altogether

“What I’d moderately is everyone follows that rule and does not stretch it or flex it.

“I’m actually glad to see there’s an elevated police presence… People mustn’t take the mickey out of the principles they usually should not stretch the principles.”

More closures

Outdoor markets, retailers operating click on and accumulate, and backyard centres might be advised to shut their doorways.

Few locations stay open however those who do would possibly be advised to shut their doorways as fears develop in regards to the final vestiges of public mixing permitted underneath the principles.

A Downing Street supply has urged that stated Boris Johnson would want clear knowledge exhibiting issues earlier than he ordered additional damaging closures.

But photos of individuals gathering in markets or in queues for click on and accumulate centres are understood to have triggered rumblings in Whitehall – main many to query their exclusion from the present guidelines.

Three metre rule?

Ministers are underneath stress to enhance the social distancing hole to stop the unfold of Covid.

Leading members of the SAGE scientific advisory panel need the measure raised from “one metre plus” to “two metres plus”.

In follow this may change the restrict to three metres – practically 10ft.

But medics and scientists have expressed scepticism about how efficient any change like this may be.

Asked if a three-metre rule would be imposed in England, a Downing Street spokesman advised the Daily Mail: “There aren’t any present plans to change social distancing guidelines. However, every little thing is stored underneath evaluate.”

Pause in home viewings and home strikes

It seems like modifications might be approaching the principles on transferring home – with a halt on folks transferring into properties in England probably on the playing cards.

A change in steerage on the Government web site has urged that strikes might be halted “regionally or nationally for a brief time period” if the lockdown requires it.

Labour chief Keir Starmer has additionally known as for property viewings to be stopped in the course of the present lockdown.

“Locally or nationally for a brief time period”, in accordance to Government steerage.

The public advised to put on masks exterior

Reports recommend face coverings could be really helpful in busy public locations resembling grocery store queues.

London mayor Sadiq Khan declared a significant incident within the capital on Friday and known as for face coverings to be worn exterior.

It’s reported Health Secretary Matt Hancock and different ministers have been inspecting the case to prolong the usage of masks carrying.

A supply advised the Telegraph that face masks could develop into necessary in busy outside areas, whereas the fast unfold of the brand new and extremely virulent pressure of Covid-19 might also end in stricter social distancing measures.

Chris Whitty additionally urged folks might want to put on masks in some outside conditions.

The Chief Medical Officer advised the BBC that outside contact is usually low threat, but when individuals are queuing tightly or “huddled collectively spherical a market stall, that may be a threat.

“In that scenario there would possibly be some logic to folks excited about carrying masks.”

Nurseries being closed

Schools and universities will stay closed till at the very least mid-February, however nurseries have thus far been unaffected.

Many scientists and consultants have known as for this to change.

The Early Years Alliance, which represents nurseries and childminders, stated some suppliers are closing regardless of what the Government has stated.

Calum Semple, a paediatrician and a fellow member of SAGE, advised BBC Breakfast: “If we have gotten to the purpose of closing the colleges, secondary colleges and first colleges on the grounds of public well being, then I might be wanting to shut all different non-essential actions.

“And it might be {that a} political choice has been made right here that nurseries are important. But it is not a scientific one.”

Keir Starmer has additionally stated nurseries ought to “most likely” be closed – and claims individuals are “shocked” that they don’t seem to be.

The Labour chief advised the BBC: “I believe there’s a case for nursery colleges, we’re speaking to the scientists about that.

“I believe individuals are shocked that major colleges have been closed however nurseries aren’t.”

He added: “I believe they most likely ought to be closed, I do need to discuss to the scientists about that.”


Boris Johnson, No10 and Matt Hancock have all failed to rule out a French-style, full-blown curfew when questioned.

France has launched a 6pm order for folks to return residence within the hardest-hit areas.

However, sources recommend such a drastic measure appears unlikely.

Indeed, the UK has by no means imposed a full night-time curfew on its residents in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

The furthest we went was a 10pm ‘curfew’ on pub opening instances, however folks weren’t pressured residence after that.

Support bubbles being banned?

Millions of individuals are actually reliant on a “assist bubble” to see one other family they’re shut to.

The system permits a single-adult family, a pair with a baby underneath one, to completely bubble up with one other family of any dimension.

However, it is easy to overlook this important coverage solely started in England in June, after nearly three months of lockdown.

Last night time, Matt Hancock, the well being secretary, categorically dominated out any modifications to the assist or childcare bubble system.

Mr Hancock stated: “I can rule out eradicating the bubbles that we now have in place – the childcare bubbles [and] the assist bubbles are crucial and we’re going to hold them.

“I understand how necessary they’re to folks and they’re an necessary a part of the system that we now have acquired to assist folks while additionally having these powerful measures which are obligatory.”

supply: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/information/north-east-news/eight-ways-lockdown-could-tightened-19617778


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