Boris Johnson has warned that actions to stop a second wave of Covid-19 must be “tough now” in order to “protect” Christmas.
The prime minister said people had to be “both confident and cautious” and that it was “crucial” that the country did not reintegrate “a big lockdown that prevents business from functioning”.
He told The Sun: “Christmas we want to protect, and we want everyone to have a fantastic Christmas.
“But the only way to make sure the country can enjoy Christmas is to be tough now.
“So if we can grab it now, stop the climb, stop the point, stop the second hump of the camel, flatten the second hump.”
Residents of the Northeast are awaiting an announcement Thursday on new measures that are expected to take effect from midnight.
In South Wales, a local lockdown will go into effect on Thursday from 6 p.m., meaning people should not enter or leave the Rhondda Cynon Taf area without a reasonable excuse.
Under new rules, licensed pubs, bars and restaurants in the area will have to close at 11 p.m. – and meetings with other people inside will not be allowed, including for extended households.
The region has the highest test positivity rate in Wales, with a seven-day new case rate of 82.1 per 100,000 people in the region.
Newcastle upon Tyne also saw a sharp rise in its rate, from 51.2 to 64.1, with 194 new cases in the seven days to September 13.
There were 141 new cases in South Tyneside, up from 92 the previous week, and 198 in County Durham, up from 172.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the new measures are being introduced after a rapid increase in cases.
He told ITV’s Peston show: “The number of cases has increased rapidly in many parts of the country, but particularly in the North East, and a decision has therefore been made to impose further restrictions. “
He added: “During the day a full briefing will be made available to everyone, including advice and the business community.”
Newcastle City Council chief Nick Forbes said “additional temporary restrictions” were planned to “prevent another complete lockdown”.
The spikes in infection rates came when Mr Johnson admitted there was not enough capacity in the system after demand “accelerated massively” in recent weeks.
He told the Liaison Committee MPs on Wednesday: “We don’t have enough testing capacity now because in an ideal world I would test absolutely anyone who wants a test immediately.”
He said the virus was spreading from the young to the most vulnerable elderly, with the rate of cases among those over 80 doubling within days – and warned that this “will lead to death.”
On Thursday afternoon Baroness Dido Harding, who is the Acting Executive Chairman of the National Institute for Health Protection – and oversees the NHS testing and tracing system, is due to testify before the Science and Technology Committee Commons technology.
Following the release of the latest test and trace figures last week, the conservative peer insisted the system was “working” despite key targets missed and the number of close contacts reached falling to an all time high.
It was revealed earlier this week that testing will need to be rationed as the government struggles to keep up with growing demand.
A priority list for testing, indicating who will be the top of the line, has yet to be released, but the Sun has reported that nurses, nursing home workers and teachers will be among the first. .
Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reported a government source saying that although they are “not yet at the stage of restricting access to testing for those with symptoms,” they “are considering options for what to do. must be done later “.
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