Is London going into tier two lockdown?

Clay Curtis
October 14, 2020

Critics say the PM's latest plan will cost thousands more lives.

A "rule of three" tiered system has been brought in to simplify local lockdowns in coronavirus hotspots.

The government's scientific advisers at that time recommended that ministers go further, suggesting a two-to three-week national lockdown to short-circuit rapidly rising infection rates.

In another document which could prove highly damaging to the government, the SAGE group of scientists said that the £12 billion "test-and-trace" programme, which Johnson has described as "world-beating" is having only a "marginal" impact on reducing the spread of the virus because it is not tracing enough people, and many of those contacted are simply ignoring advice to self-isolate. "(He also must ensure) that other health risks, like mental health and illnesses, don't get neglected as a result". Though the number of daily deaths has not matched the levels in the early stages of the pandemic, the United Kingdom and France this month have reported record single daily rises in cases last week, while Germany and Italy reported their highest daily case rises since April.

Health officials say the freshest data showed infections were rising across the north of England and in some more southerly areas too while the virus was creeping up age bands towards the elderly from those aged 16 to 29. The highest infection rates are in the northeast and northwest, with more than 600 cases per 100,000 people in Liverpool and almost 500 per 100,000 in Manchester, compared with fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 in many parts of London.

He told Today: "What we've done through the pandemic is we've invested huge amounts of money in being able to track where the virus is and where it is increasing so we have much better information to pick up early warnings of increases in cases. This is a stark reminder for us to follow the guidelines". "Government support can not and will not continue forever".

"I think it is very disappointing that we had clear advice - we needed to take decisive action several weeks ago", Hayward told the BBC.

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The lockdowns will include shutting pubs and bars and banning wedding receptions in areas placed in the "very high" alert level from Wednesday.

Johnson on Tuesday set out a new three-level COVID-19 alert system that will be implemented across England, with the level being decided according to local infection rates.

This means businesses like bars, restaurants, pubs, casinos and gyms will be allowed to remain open, although the 10pm curfew will still be in place, and groups of more than 6 people are banned.

Many residents complained that the tough restrictions were unfair, singling out Liverpool.

"The message that we did deliver to those leaders in Merseyside was that we need to take these steps, we probably even need to go further but that we want to design those steps jointly between ourselves and local government", Jenrick said. "Everyone in Liverpool is hurt and we feel like scapegoats".

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is now demanding that Boris Johnson puts England into a two to three-week "circuit breaker" lockdown to coincide with October half-term - with the support of the Liberal Democrats.

Stephen Powis, medical director of the National Health Service in England, said three temporary COVID-19 hospitals in northern England that were mothballed when the outbreak receded over the summer are being readied to admit patients once again in the coming weeks. "And it is no longer following scientific advice".

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