Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has announced a new national lockdown in England. He said that a new variant of the virus meant that new restrictions were needed and that hospitals were already under more pressure than at any other time.
In the Prime Minister’s statement, he added:
“I want to say to everyone right across the United Kingdom that I know how tough this is, I know how frustrated you are, I know that you have had more than enough of government guidance about defeating this virus.
But now more than ever, we must pull together. You should follow the new rules from now, and they will become law in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Parliament will meet – largely remotely – later that day.”
Keir Starmer, the Leader of the Opposition, had said earlier:
“The virus is clearly out of control and there’s no good the Prime Minister hinting that further restrictions will come into place in a week, or two or three. That delay has been the source of so many problems. So, I say bring those restrictions in now, national restrictions within the next 24 hours. That has to be the first step in controlling the virus.
On schools, I don’t want to add to the chaos that will be caused by having all schools closed tomorrow, but many will be closed. It is inevitable that more schools will need to close and the Government needs to plan for children’s learning, but also for working parents. It is inevitable that more schools will be closed tomorrow morning.
The more important thing is that national restrictions need to come in over the next 24 hours. Let’s not have the Prime Minister say ‘we’ll do it, but not yet’, that’s the problem we’ve had so many times.”