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Boris Johnson orders another lockdown for England


People should stay at home unless they need to go to school or work, buy basic food, care for a vulnerable person, or harm someone. ‘exercise.

Johnson is responsible for England’s strategy. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland run their own health and education systems and have imposed lockdowns.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces the lockdown at a press conference in Downing Street.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces the lockdown at a press conference in Downing Street.Credit:Getty

The prime minister had planned to make the announcement on Monday, but postponed it until Saturday after a series of damaging newspaper leaks overnight caused confusion and anger.

This decision is a major turnaround on the part of the Prime Minister and has damaged his position in the Conservative Party.

While Johnson has always reserved the right to impose tougher measures, he has spent the past two months saying that a second lockdown would be a “disaster” and inflict “misery” on the public.

The government’s powerful Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) urged it to allow a two-week “breaker” lockout in September, but the prime minister rejected the advice.

People watch Boris Johnson's ad from the Red Lion Pub in London.

People watch Boris Johnson’s ad from the Red Lion Pub in London.Credit:Getty

“We had to listen to all kinds of science advice,” Johnson said on Saturday. “But we also need to balance this scientific advice with the consequences for people’s lives, their mental health and their livelihoods.”

Labor and other critics have said the delay means England will instead experience a longer and more economically damaging lockdown that is less successful in reducing the death toll.


Government experts have found that even the thousands of additional hospital beds created to deal with the pandemic would be overwhelmed in most parts of England in late November and early December.

Ten hospitals already have more patients than the first wave and 14 currently have more than half.

Johnson said allowing the National Health Service to be overrun would be a “medical and moral disaster”.

“Doctors and nurses would be forced to choose which patients to treat, who would get oxygen and who wouldn’t, who would live and who would die,” he said.

“Doctors and nurses should choose between saving COVID patients and non-COVID patients.”

The number of daily deaths during the first wave peaked at around 1,000 per day. The latest forecasts show that the winter wave would kill 1,000 people a day from December 8 and end up killing 85,000 by March.

Johnson declined to guarantee that the restrictions would be lifted as of December 2.

“Christmas will be very different this year, maybe very different. But I sincerely hope that by acting now we can allow families to be together,” the Prime Minister said.

The UK has recorded an average of around 23,000 new cases a day over the past week, but the figures do not reflect the actual number of infections.

The Office for National Statistics said on Friday there were 51,900 new infections in England alone every day. Another study from Imperial College London put the figure at 96,000.

Australia has recorded a total of 27,590 cases since the start of the pandemic.

“We have to be humble in the face of nature and in this country, alas, the virus is spreading even faster than the reasonable worst-case scenario of our science advisers,” Johnson said.

The worst case scenario is not a forecast but is used by government officials and National Health Service officials to plan for the second wave.

Professor John Edmunds, an epidemiologist who sits at SAGE, has warned the country should brace for a bleak winter.


“It is truly unthinkable now, unfortunately, that we did not count our deaths in the tens of thousands from this wave,” he said on Saturday. “The problem is, will it be tens of thousands if we take drastic action now or will it be tens of thousands if we don’t?”

Experts say locks are most effective when introduced early in an outbreak.

Nationwide lockouts were ordered this week in Germany, France, Austria and Belgium, where infections have increased. Borders within the European Union are still open but travel is discouraged. And like Great Britain, schools will remain open in these four countries.

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a lockdown on Wednesday when the number of bimonthly infections reached 195 per 100,000 population. The equivalent figure in the UK is 451.

“The idea that there is a perfect time to act is a misconception,” Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Saturday.

The lockdown will be put to a vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday before going into effect Thursday.

However, many Tory MPs oppose lockdowns and can vote against the government. Johnson could count on Labor support to push the plan through Parliament. Labor had urged Johnson to pass a two-week lockdown earlier this month.

British media said backbenchers had gone “nuclear” over Johnson’s decision and the anger inside the party was “volcanic”.


Jeremy Hunt, former health secretary and Johnson’s rival in last year’s Tory leadership contest, took a slight look at the government’s response to the crisis, but supported the move of the Prime Minister.

“Many will debate whether we could have avoided getting to this point, but in a pandemic I would rather a Prime Minister brave enough to change his mind than one who risks his life by sticking his head in the hole. sand, ”he said.

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