22 Sep Coronavirus: 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants – but what other measures could Johnson announce later? | UK News
Boris Johnson is set to make a statement on the next steps the country will take to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
The prime minister will speak a day after Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, warned the UK could soon see 49,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day unless action is taken.
Mr Johnson, who has said he doesn’t want to put the country into a second national lockdown, is expected to announce new measures designed to slow the spread of the virus in England.
We already know that pubs, bars and restaurants in England will be forced to close at 10pm every night from Thursday – but here are three other sets of measures that Mr Johnson could be set to announce.
A ban on socialising
The prime minister could announce a ban on different households mixing together.
Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, said during a Downing Street briefing on Monday that limiting social contact between households was key to tackling the virus.
Social gatherings of more than six people are already illegal in England after the coronavirus “rule of six” came into force.
A temporary “circuit break”
The government has been looking at ways to “short-circuit” the virus and slow the spread of the disease.
Government figures have stressed the plan stops short of a full national lockdown.
The proposals could allow essential travel to schools and workplaces to continue, but restaurants and bars would shut.
Different households would also be asked not to mix.
The restrictions could be imposed for two weeks, but the timing and duration of the measures is yet to be finalised.
A second national lockdown
Health Secretary Matt Hancock refused to rule out “national action” when pressed over the possibility of a second national lockdown.
He told Sky News on Sunday that the move is a “last line of defence” but the government will do what is necessary to protect the public.
The prime minister said last week he does not want to put the country in another national lockdown but warned the government may need to “intensify things to help bring the rate of infections down”.
He added: “We’re now seeing a second wave coming in… clearly we are going to keep everything under review.”