The UK under new lockdown tiers restrictions as the virus continues spreading
Posted on 13/10/2020

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced yesterday further restrictions after an increase in Covid-19 outbreaks. After a meeting with the government's emergency COBRA committee and a speech before parliament, Johnson then went on to a press conference, announcing a new three-tiered system, which will include local lockdowns, and closure of bars, gyms and casinos in "very high alert" areas, mostly in the north of England.

Controlling the virus

Controlling the virus
© madebydubo / 123RF

"The purpose of these measures is to get the virus under control. The point of moving to this tiered system is so that in those most highly affected areas, we have got measures in place to control the virus", commented culture secretary Oliver Dowden.

The three-tiered system will include alert levels from "medium," "high" and "very high" depending on infection rates in different regions. At the minute, most of England is now under the "medium" tier, but most of northern England is under the "high" one, and Johnson announced yesterday that Liverpool is now on "very high" alert.

If research shows that the virus is at a bigger risk of spreading in hospitality locations, these measures are however not welcomed by businesses, which are already taking some legal actions in order to prevent them.

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) CEO even made a statement: "The industry has been left with no other option but to legally challenge the so-called "common sense" approach narrative from the government, on the implementation of further restrictions across the north of England.These new measures will have a catastrophic impact on late night businesses, and are exacerbated further by an insufficient financial support package."

12,872 new cases were recorded in the UK on Sunday only, and the death toll rose to 42,825, which explains why measures are getting tougher. Shops, schools and universities are however to remain open according to the Prime Minister.

But what is certain is that measures were needed. Peter Hornby, a University of Oxford professor of emerging infectious diseases even issued a warning about the situation on Sunday, stating: "We have a doubling time (in infections) of about eight to 15 days, so it is not long before those ICU beds could be full and we could be in a really difficult situation. So I am afraid we are going to have to make some very difficult choices and act very quickly."