On September 30, 2020 in London, England, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for PMQs at the House of Commons.
Alberto Pezzali | NurPhoto via Getty Images
LONDON – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the British to abide by the rules on Wednesday to avoid tighter restrictions on coronavirus as the country grapples with a rapid increase in the number of reported coronavirus cases.
“The best way to protect the NHS, save lives, to keep our children in school and the economy moving is to follow the rules wherever we live,”
“I don’t want to go back to a national bloc where the general guide is staying at home,” Johnson said, responding to a question sent by an audience member. “That’s not what we’re saying, we want to keep the economy moving, we want to keep the young, the pupils in education. But the only way we can do that is if we all follow the lead and depress the virus.”
The prime minister, who recently had to apologize for confusing the government’s coronavirus rules, spoke with Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical officer, and Patrick Vallance, his chief science advisor, during a televised press conference. .
It comes shortly after the country recorded the highest number of Covid-19 infections reported since the start of the pandemic.
The UK reported a further 7,143 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, surpassing the number of new cases reported in late April and early May, when strict lockdown measures were in place nationwide, although more Covid-19 tests are being carried out daily than in spring.
The UK also recorded 71 additional coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday. It was the highest number of Covid-19 deaths reported in the UK since 1 July. The country has the worst number of official deaths in Europe and the fifth highest number of coronavirus deaths worldwide.
On Wednesday, the UK recorded 7,108 new coronavirus cases and a further 71 related deaths, the same number of deaths reported on Tuesday.
“Discipline and resolve”
Downing Street had previously announced that home blending in north-east England would be banned from Wednesday night, following the sharp increase in the number of confirmed cases in the region.
The government has also advised residents of the region to avoid mingling with people outside their family in pubs and restaurants.
Johnson, who became particularly ill himself when he contracted Covid-19 earlier this year, called on the public to “convene the discipline and resolution” needed to follow the latest implementation of the coronavirus rules.
In a televised broadcast to the nation on September 23, the prime minister outlined new restrictions that could be in place for up to six months, saying “there have been too many violations”.
In England, restrictions included stricter rules on face coatings and the number of people allowed to attend weddings was halved. Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues were also asked to close by 10pm, while fines for breaking the new rules were raised to £ 200 ($ 256) per first offense.
Hospitality venues will also have to close soon in Wales and Scotland, while Northern Ireland had already banned families from mixing indoors.
Tens of millions of people in the UK are now subject to local restrictions introduced to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
However, as pressure builds on Johnson to impose a two-week so-called “circuit breaker” lockdown to keep the virus under control, leading conservative lawmakers in the ruling Conservative Party have spoken out against the possibility of further measures.
Johnson suggested the government “must reserve the right to go further” with stricter regulations if the number of Covid-19 cases and related deaths continues to rise.