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‘Work from home’: Johnson starts shutting down Britain again as Covid-19 spreads

epa08688061 Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson departs Downing Street to make a statement in the House of Commons in London, Britain, 22 September 2020. Due to rising cases of coronavirus all pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues in England must have a 22:00 closing time from 24 September 2020. Further coronavirus restrictions and measures will be set out by the prime minister in the House of Commons on 22 September 2020. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL
By Reuters
22 Sep 2020 2

LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people on Tuesday to work from home where possible and ordered bars and restaurants to shut earlier in a bid to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of COVID-19.

After government scientists warned that the death rate would soar without urgent action, Johnson said the new restrictions in England could last for six months although he stopped short of imposing another full lockdown.

“I’m sorry to say that as in Spain and France and many other countries, we have reached a perilous turning point,” Johnson told parliament following emergency meetings with ministers and leaders of the United Kingdom’s devolved governments.

Just weeks after urging people to start returning to workplaces, Johnson advised office workers to stay at home if they could.

He ordered all pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality sites to close at 10 p.m. from Thursday with only table service allowed.

Face-masks will be required in more settings, businesses who break rules will be fined and there will be tougher enforcement against people who do not comply, he said.

However, schools and universities will stay open. He will give a televised address to the nation at 1900 GMT.

Government advisers have said the number of new cases could reach 50,000 per day by mid-October.

Johnson warned further restrictions could be brought in should the new measures not work.

“We will not listen to those who say let the virus rip, nor to those who urge a permanent lockdown,” he said. “We are taking decisive and appropriate steps to balance saving lives and protecting jobs and livelihoods.”

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Kate Holton, Elizabeth Piper, David Milliken, Andy Bruce, Estelle Shirbon, Sarah Young and Michael Holden; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Andrew Cawthorne and Stephen Addison)

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  • What really confuses me is that this so called second wave in Europe is not accompanied by the same rate of deaths as the first wave and in fact the death rate is on par with seasonal norms so why all the media and political hysteria? I am a scientist who uses data to arrive at decisions and what’s going on now strikes me as being most peculiar. Are the governments and media being poorly advised? Is it lazy thinking? Are people not looking at the data? Is there another ‘control’ related agenda? Would be grateful for some insight on this.

    • In the first wave many more cases were not tested as the resources were not available, so it’s not a like for like comparison, the 10000 cases per day in March and April were those who had severe symptoms and met testing requirements, as the systems have been put in place, more people have the option of getting a test this time around and as such people with mild or no symptoms can now more easily get a test. There is also data showing that the age bracket of many of the current positive results is younger people, who have better outcomes.

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