People encouraged to work from home as Covid restrictions tightened

Daniel Fowler
September 22, 2020

The new measures come after the government's chief scientific and medical advisers painted a grim picture of how there could be 50,000 cases a day by mid-October with a daily death toll of 200 or more by mid-November if the current growth in the rate of infection is not halted.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove accepted that the government's call for people to return to the workplace, a measure seen as critical for the survival of cafes and other businesses which rely on commuters and office workers, had been dropped.

Boris Johnson will today set out a raft of measures created to clampdown on the disease, including imposing a 10pm curfew on all pubs, bars and restaurants in England from Thursday.

Boris Johnson is to deliver an update to the nation later today where he will outline new restrictions for England aimed at halting a new rise in coronavirus infections.

Christopher Snowdon, the head of lifestyle economics at the Institute, warned that while mandatory table service could have merit, having proved effective in Sweden, the new closing time will be devastating to the hospitality sector, which was already suffering after the first lockdown.

The UK's four chief medical officers then raised the Covid alert level from three to four - the second highest - indicating the "epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially".

A spokesperson from No 10 said: "No-one underestimates the challenges the new measures will pose to many individuals and businesses".

Further measures announced include giving police powers to issue £1,000 fines and make arrests to enforce two-metre social distancing.

"We know this won't be easy, but we must take further action to control the resurgence in cases of the virus and protect the NHS", he will say.

Lee Kerslake, drummer for Ozzy Osbourne and Uriah Heep, has died
He then rejoined Uriah Heep in 1982 to document their comeback album " Abominog ", and remained with the group till 2007. Lee Kerslake , former drummer for Ozzy Osbourne and Uriah Heep , has passed away from prostate cancer at the age of 73.

The rule of six, where gatherings of more than six people are not allowed, will also remain in place.

Pubs will also be required to offer table service.

On Monday, Northern Ireland said it would extend existing restrictions in some localities on households mixing indoors across the whole of the province from Tuesday, while Wales slapped curbs on four more areas.

Nicholls also addressed similar measures enforced in local lockdowns, which have been declared in a number of COVID-hit locations, arguing they have yielded no positive outcomes but "damaged businesses and cost jobs".

Prof Whitty suggested that reducing social contacts was a key way to curb the spread but acknowledged there was a balance to be struck in terms of protecting the economy.

"If we do too little, this virus will go out of control and you will get significant numbers of increased direct and indirect deaths", he said.

'So, placing a restriction like this is something that we've already done in parts of the country where the virus has been spreading particularly fast'.

During Monday's press briefing, Prof Whitty said there was a "very hard balance" to be struck between preventing the NHS from being "overwhelmed by a huge spike" in cases and a second economic lockdown that could cause unemployment, poverty and deprivation, outcomes which would bring their own "long-term health effects".

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