Given the shockingly increasing number of new infections with Sars-CoV-2, the London government has imposed new restrictions on Great Britain. Office workers should be able to work from home again, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Pubs and restaurants have to close earlier and the previously lax mask obligation in shops is now mandatory. To enforce the law, the police can also ask the military for help. “Negligence can bring us down,” warned the Conservative government leader. He wanted to avoid a second lockdown, but did not shy away from stricter measures if necessary.
The day before, the two chief scientists of the government had already called on the population to do more in the fight against the corona virus. If the current trend continues, there could be about 50,000 new cases per day by mid-October, according to the gloomy forecast by chief scientific advisor Patrick Vallance. A month later, this would result in at least 200 Covid deaths per day. In September, the number of new infections rose steadily and reached 4368 on Monday. According to the Ministry of Health, the number of people who died of Covid-19 is at 41,788, the average death last week was 24 people per day.
Johnson gets the backing of the cabinet
Johnson received the support of his cabinet on Tuesday for the new measures. According to reports, the new restrictions there were highly controversial to the end. Apparently influential Secretary of State Michael Gove and health department chief Matthew Hancock have long been calling for tougher measures. However, given the slow recovery of the economy, Finance and Interior Ministers Rishi Sunak and Priti Patel wanted as few restrictions as possible.
The Prime Minister also tried to negotiate a comprehensive agreement over the phone with those responsible in the smaller regions of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, which have been deviating from the approach in England for months. Wales’ Prime Minister Mark Drakeford (Labor) complained last weekend about the lack of consultation in London.
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The most important change in the package of measures for England is a radical reversal of the previous government position. Over the summer, Johnson and his ministers had repeatedly encouraged citizens to return to the city center office centers and shops, sometimes citing the threat of job losses. The fact that as many people as possible now have to return to the home office is likely to exacerbate the crisis in the “ghost towns” spoken of by the industrial association CBI.
“The government has no clear strategy”
The closure of all pubs, bars and restaurants on Thursdays at 10pm will also have an immediate impact. As a result, the battered business is losing 15 percent of its sales, the restaurant association announced. The British are known to consume large amounts of alcohol again towards the end of the evening. Two reports from the show highlighted the crisis in the industry: pub chain Wetherspoon plans to lay off 450 employees at its airport branches. No fewer than 6,000 jobs are on the edge at hotel and catering company Whitbread.
The fact that the government wants to better enforce the mask requirement in closed spaces will probably meet with approval from retailers. Only over the weekend did an alliance of major companies led by Tesco, Sainsbury and Boots bitterly complain about attacks on their employees by Covid deniers. Your people are exposed to “unprecedented abuse and violence on a daily basis,” reported Joanne Whitfield of Co-op Food.
Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer pledged his support for the new measures in the House of Commons, but personally criticized Johnson: “The government has no clear strategy.” Since Johnson stated the duration of the new restrictions as “possibly six months,” Starmer again pointed to imminent. Problems in the labor market. Treasury Secretary Sunak plans the generous short-time working benefits and self-employment support to end at the end of October.