With an address to the nation to underscore the solemnity of the moment, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, prepared his country on Tuesday to a winter of restrictions and he assured that if citizens do not respect the rules, he will have to tighten the measures against the pandemic. Although, for the moment, he rules out a total confinement.
Johnson reviewed in a brief address from eight minutes some of the new rules launched by your Government, whose breach will be punished with fines of up to 10,000 pounds (10,878 euros), but above all he tried to educate his compatriots that they expect tough months at least until spring.
“Unless we act, the risk is that we will have to resort to tougher measures later, when the deaths have already increased and we have a number of infections as in the last spring“, said.
The main measures
And by reiterating that reserves “the right to go further” if the rules are not followed, he invoked the specter of a new national lockdown, which “would threaten not only jobs, but also the loving human contact on which we all depend.”
The main measures implemented by the Executive already began to leak last Monday night, and they range from the closure of bars and restaurantsat ten of the night until the recommendation that anyone who can work from home.
Too a fine of 200 pounds (216 euros) will be imposed those who do not wear masks where required, such as shops or public transport. These provisions correspond to England – mostly mandatory from next week – as the other nations – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – take their own.
A new peak: 5,000 new infections
Johnson, who had appeared on Tuesday previously in Parliament, is aware that this may only be a provisional battery of shock measures to halt the inexorable advance of the pandemic.
Each day brings a new peak compared to the previous one: the almost 5,000 new infections announced in the last 24 hours they are a high since May 7, and the 37 deaths represent the highest number since July 14.
The prime minister does not want the scenario of last spring to be reproduced, when the government’s slowness in reacting meant that the United Kingdom became the European country hardest hit by the coronavirus and that he himself suffered the rigors of the disease. . The challenge posed by the pandemic is, in Johnson’s view, “the greatest crisis the world has ever faced” throughout his life.
A middle way
Johnson has chosen a middle way between the councils of the “hawks” of his cabinet – such as the Minister of Economy, Rishi Sunak-, in favor of limiting restrictions so as not to damage the economy, and the “pigeon” proposals, which call for a two-week lockdown to “short-circuit” the spread of the pandemic.
Nor has he wanted to follow the path of Scotland so far, where the chief minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced on Tuesday that Visits to the homes of others will not be allowed starting tomorrow. Still, the Johnson administration’s intention is to ensure greater compliance with the rules, which have been followed fairly loosely at times.
For this, it will have the support of the armed forces to reinforce the work of the police when deemed necessary, he said.
Pressure within the party
Johnson faces pressure on some sectors within his party,very reluctant to tighten the restrictions, but at the same time has the support of the opposition of the Labor Party, which has just held its annual congress, totally overshadowed by the pandemic and the vicissitudes of Brexit.
The prime minister wanted to close his words with a wisp of optimism, although for this you will have to wait at least one semester.
“Our physicians and advisers (…) are unanimous that things will be much better for spring, when we will have not only the hope of a vaccine, but also massive tests so effective that people can have the results in minutes to do the things they want, “he said.