In a televised address to the nation on Tuesday evening, the Prime Minster said the country faces an “unquestionably difficult” winter and warned the latest restrictions could last for six months.
The new coronavirus restrictions will see a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants, businesses will face £10,000 fines or closure for failing to comply with regulations, and people risk £200 penalties for failing to wear masks or breaching the “rule of six”.
It comes after the total number of infections in the UK passed the grim milestone of 400,000 and Sir Patrick Vallance explained that current data suggests the epidemic is “roughly doubling” in the UK every week.
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India’s coronavirus cases decline after last week’s record total
India reported more than 83,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, showing some decline after reaching a record a week earlier. The country has now confirmed more than 5.6 million cases.
The health ministry also reported 1,085 new fatalities, raising the death toll to 90,020. India is expected to become the world’s worst-hit country within weeks, surpassing the United States, where nearly 6.9 million people have been infected by the virus.
But the past week has seen some improvement in India, with the numbers dropping after a record 97,894 new cases were reported on September 16.
Balram Bhargava, director-general of the Indian Council for Medical Research, said on Tuesday that vaccines with at least 50 per cent efficacy will be approved for use against the coronavirus as that is the benchmark set by the World Health Organisation.
Good morning and welcome to today’s live updates on the Covid-19 pandemic
Boris Johnson’s speech in full
Good evening, the struggle against Covid is the single biggest crisis the world has faced in my lifetime.
In less than a year this disease has killed almost a million people, and caused havoc to economies everywhere.
Here in the UK we mourn every person we have lost, and we grieve with their families.
And yet I am more certain than ever that this is a struggle that humanity will win, and we in this country will win, and to achieve what we must, I want to talk to you directly tonight about the choices that we face, none of them easy, and why we must take action now.
Science is the key to tackling Covid-19, Boris Johnson says
Science is the key to combating the pandemic, the Prime Minister has said.
With the coronavirus now spreading again exponentially, rises in infections and climbing hospital admissions, Boris Johnson has called on the nation to “take action” to help combat the virus.
In his Downing Street statement, he said there is the “hope” of a vaccine, perhaps after a potentially difficult winter, plus a quick and efficient mass testing system.
Mr Johnson described this as “the dream”, adding: “It’s hard, but it’s attainable, and we are working as hard as we can to get there.”
NI household restriction
Discussing the additional restrictions introduced in Northern Ireland limiting the number of people who can gather in homes, Mrs Foster said:
“This is a tough restriction in a country where we are known for our hospitality and despite all of our divisions in Northern Ireland, our doors have always been open.
“We are good neighbours, we are naturally hospitable to everyone. But it is no kindness to host or attend large gatherings in each other’s homes at the moment.
“We speak specifically about the house parties inside and outside. The only winner in the long term from such scenes will be Covid-19.”
She said the measures were not about stopping elderly parents from visiting your home and that they could “be part of your bubble, they can still provide childcare and you can still provide care to them” .
‘We are not out of the woods’
Speaking after the Prime Minister addressed the UK about further coronavirus measures, Northern Ireland’s First Minister said the virus had “crept into communities” in every county in the region.
Arlene Foster said: “We need to act but I do want to reassure you that despite all of the headlines this is not a second lockdown.
“This is a wake-up call, a reminder that we are not out of the woods.
“As an Executive, we have agreed that your school, your shop, your factory, your business, your college, your local hotel or restaurant will remain open because they have all taken steps to stop the spread of the virus.”
Welsh shadow health minister said hyperlocal lockdowns are needed
The Shadow health minister for the Welsh Conservatives, called for “hyperlocal lockdowns” in Wales.
Andrew RT Davies MS said measures taken to combat the spread of Covid-19 had to be “proportional to the risk and with time limits”.
He added: “However, it’s time to consider hyperlocal lockdowns based on the best available data – which means that the Test, Track, and Protect scheme must be equally hyper-accurate – so that as little of Wales and its economy as possible is closed, even temporarily.
“Safeguarding lives as well as livelihoods, and sheltering the economy, must remain the priorities.”
Plaid Cymru leader reacts to new restrictions in Wales
Adam Price MS said the new Welsh measures were “a square peg in a round hole”.
“It takes little account of local circumstances and measures announced tonight are arguably too strict for certain parts of the country and too lenient in others,” Mr Price said.
He called for the Welsh Government to “go further” than simply closing pubs at 10pm in areas subjected to local lockdown restrictions.
He added: “In those areas, we should also restrict the sales of alcohol from off licences at 6pm and either close pubs indoors completely or close pubs that don’t serve food like they’ve done in Ireland.
He also urged an “enforceable ban” on non-essential travel from lockdown areas in the rest of the UK into Wales, as well as “Covid-free areas” that would be exempt from nationwide changes.
Fines of up to £10,000
Mr Johnson announced tougher measures in England for the “minority who may continue to flout the rules”.
He said more police will be out on the streets and rules breakers will face penalties of up to £10,000.
Boris Johnson warns restrictions could go further and blames ‘too many’ breaches on new wave of measures
Boris Johnson has warned Brits that restrictions could go further as he blamed “too many” breaches of coronavirus rules on the surge in cases.
The country faces an “unquestionably difficult” winter, the Prime Minister warned after announcing Covid-19 restrictions which could last six months.
He used a televised address to the nation to plead with people to follow the new rules, claiming that breaches of previous restrictions by “freedom loving” Britons had helped the virus return.
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Restrictions could last for six months
The new measures could be in place for six months, Mr Johnson warned.
He also explained that people who needed to shield at the beginning of lockdown do not need to do so now unless they are living in a local lockdown region
Indoor sport changes
From Thursday sports played indoors with more than six people will be banned
Wedding down to 15 people
There will be a limit on the number of people able to attend a wedding.
The maximum number will decrease from 30 to 15.
However, the rules regarding funerals will not change and 30 people will be allowed to attend.
‘The spirit of togetherness will carry us through’
The PM said although the fight against Covid is not over, there will be better days ahead.
However right now the nation needs to “summon the discipline, and the resolve, and the spirit of togetherness that will carry us through”.
The higher the ‘R’ the higer the restrictions
Mr Johnson warned that if R does not decrease below 1 in the next few weeks, then the nation will face more measures.
A national lockdown would hurt more than just the economy, PM states
“If we were forced into a new national lockdown, that would threaten not just jobs and livelihoods but the loving human contact on which we all depend,” he said.
“It would mean renewed loneliness and confinement for the elderly and vulnerable, and ultimately it would threaten once again the education of our children. We must do all we can to avoid going down that road again.
“But if people don’t follow the rules we have set out, then we must reserve the right to go further.”
PM said too many law breaches
Mr Johnson said while the “vast majority” had obeyed the Covid riles there have been “too many breaches”.
He said the strain had “too many opportunities” to “slip through undetected” and it has started to spread in an “exponential way”.
Hospitality businesses in Wales must only provide table service and have to close at 10pm from Thursday, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.
All off-licences, including supermarkets, will also have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm.
Mr Drakeford announced a £500 payment to assist people on low incomes who are asked to self-isolate and strengthened regulations to ensure employers support workers who need to self-isolate.
“In the weeks and months ahead of us, there is a very real possibility we could see coronavirus regain a foothold in our local communities, towns and cities. None of us wants to see that happen again,” Mr Drakeford said in a televised address.
“In some parts of South Wales, where we have seen the sharpest rises in cases, there are already even stricter local restrictions in place to protect people’s health. We now need to make that difference across Wales.”
Customers at the Westminster Arms pub in London watch Prime Minister Boris Johnson address the nation regarding new coronavirus restrictions, including office staff working from home, the wider use of face masks and a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.
Retail and leisure industries will be fined if they do not follow the law
New coronavirus guidelines for retail leisure and tourism sectors will become law.
This means that companies will be fined for breaking the rules contained in the Government’s outline.
In serious instances the business could be closed.