Experts have warned that the death toll could rise if urgent action is not taken, Johnson did not impose a new national quarantine, as he did in March, but warned that further action could be taken if the disease is not maintained. under control.
“We reserve the right to take further action, with significantly greater restrictions,” the prime minister said in an emergency meeting with ministers and local government leaders in the United Kingdom.
Just a few weeks after asking people to return to work, Johnson advised office workers to work from home if they could. The prime minister has ordered pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality centers to close at 10pm on Thursday, with only meals allowed.
In a televised call to Johnson, Johnson said the winter would be difficult, but that the strategy would allow the economy to function while keeping the Covid-19 epidemic under control.
“We need to take action now … In this way we can keep people at work, we can keep shops and schools open and we can keep our country running while we work together to suppress the virus,” he said.
It is unclear whether the measures will be enough to reduce the second wave of the epidemic in the UK, which government health experts have warned could reach 50,000 new cases a day by mid-October.
Masks will be needed in more situations, there will be tougher enforcement of the rules, and the military could be brought in to help police, Johnson said.
Schools and universities will remain open.
A YouGov poll of 3,436 British adults found that 78% support the measures, although 45% said Johnson should have moved on, while 32% said the restrictions were fair.
Companies that break Covid-19 rules will be fined up to £ 10,000 ($ 13,000) or even shut down, while individuals could be fined £ 200 if they do not wear a mask then when necessary.
Johnson said it was frustrating for the law-abiding majority to see some defying the rules.
Asked in Parliament why Britain’s data is worse than Germany’s and Italy’s, Johnson said: “There is an important difference between our country and many other countries around the world that our country is a freedom-loving country … It is very difficult to ask the British people to follow the recommendations in a uniform way. “
In the televised message, the prime minister said that there were too many violations of the rules and that those who are willing to risk the virus will endanger others.
“Never in our history have our collective destiny and our collective health depended so much on our individual behavior,” he said.
The United Kingdom already has the highest official death toll from Covid-19 in Europe – 41,825 – and the country is borrowing record amounts to pump emergency money through the deteriorating economy.
The Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, warned that the “very unfortunate” escalation of Covid-19 cases threatens the economic outlook and said the central bank is closely monitoring how it can continue to support the economy.
Scotland will introduce additional restrictions on family reunions, which will go beyond Johnson’s new rules in England, said Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon.