News World COVID 'firepower' - Britain imposes 6-month curbs against second wave

COVID ‘firepower’ – Britain imposes 6-month curbs against second wave

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered bars and restaurants to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of COVID-19 with restrictions lasting probably six months.

After government scientists cautioned that deaths may soar without urgent action, Johnson stopped short of another full lockdown as he did in March but said further action could be taken if the disease was not suppressed.

“We reserve the right to deploy greater firepower, with significantly greater restrictions,” Johnson told parliament following emergency meetings with ministers and leaders of the United Kingdom’s devolved governments.

Just weeks after urging people to start returning to workplaces, Johnson advised office workers to stay at home if they could.

He ordered all pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality sites to close at 10 pm from Thursday, September 2 onward, with only table service allowed.

“We should assume that the restrictions I have announced will remain in place for perhaps six months”, he told parliament.

Face masks will be required in more settings, businesses who break rules will be fined, and there will be tougher enforcement against people who do not comply, he said, while the military could be brought in to help free up the police.

However, schools and universities will stay open.

The extra measures come after government advisers said new cases could reach 50,000 per day by mid-October.

The United Kingdom already has the biggest official COVID-19 death toll in Europe – 41,788 – while it is borrowing record amounts to pump emergency money through the damaged economy.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey warned that the “very unfortunate” escalation of COVID-19 cases threatened the economic outlook and said the central bank was looking hard at how it could support the economy further.

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon said it could cut 400-450 jobs at sites at six airports, including London’s Heathrow and Gatwick, because of the large drop in passengers.

Opposition leader Keir Starmer urged the government not to end a furlough scheme at the end of October, accusing it of losing control of the coronavirus crisis.

“We will not listen to those who say let the virus rip, nor to those who urge a permanent lockdown”, Johnson said.

“We are taking decisive and appropriate steps to balance saving lives and protecting jobs and livelihoods.”

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Start work on vaccination certificates, EU head tells tourism-reliant states like Cyprus

EU governments must immediately begin technical work to ensure a COVID-19 vaccination certificate system can be introduced across the 27-member bloc in time for...

Police issue 216 fines in 24 hours for breach of covid measures

Police booked  213 citizens and three establishment owners all across Cyprus over the past 24 hours for breach of measures aiming to curb the...

Coronavirus pandemic makes Cyprus youth even more anxious over future

Youth in Cyprus are anxious over their future with the coronavirus pandemic intensifying fears of a new economic crisis, according to latest data released...

EU strongly committed to supporting UN peace talks on Cyprus, says Borrell

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell left Cyprus on Saturday after sending the message that the bloc is strongly...

Travel industry bets on vaccine passports to draw Brits to Med

The race to roll out vaccination passports is spurring competition among travel companies and tourist destinations for the large number of Britons set to...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...