England was plunged back into coronavirus pain today as Boris Johnson confirmed a long list of new lockdown rules – and warned they’ll go on for “perhaps six months”.
All citizens are being told to work from home if they can with immediate effect – and from Thursday, all pubs, restaurants and even kebab shops and takeaways must shut from 10pm.
Masks will become compulsory for shop and pub staff from Monday and taxi passengers from Thursday – while the fine for failing to wear one, or breaking the ‘rule of six’ on gatherings, will double to £200 for a first offence.
Only 15 people will be allowed to attend weddings from Monday and five-a-side football will be axed.
The PM declared Britain has reached “we have reached a perilous turning point” after the number of positive tests quadrupled in a month.
He warned there will be “greater firepower” and “significantly greater restrictions” if the measures don’t work. He dismissed Tory calls to let people judge their own risk, saying: “Your harmless cough can be someone else’s death knell.”
But he stopped short of banning people from different households meeting up – as is the case for 13.7million people under local lockdowns – after a Cabinet row.
He also told the 2.2million vulnerable people who shielded earlier this year that they still don’t need to shield – except in specific local lockdown areas.
The PM warned the Army could be deployed to help boost numbers, saying: “We will provide the police and local authorities with the extra funding they need, a greater police presence on our streets and the option to draw on military support where required to free up the police.”
However, it’s understood troops would backfill for police rather than enforce the rules themselves.
And then the not even remotely thinly disguised threat…
He said: “If we fail to act together now, we will not only place others at risk, but jeopardise our own futures with the more drastic action we would inevitably be forced to take.”
He went on: “We will spare no efforts in developing vaccines, treatments, new forms of mass testing.
“But unless we palpably make progress, we should assume the restrictions I have announced will remain in place for perhaps six months.”
Click here to read the entire report, with details of the raft of measures being introduced… (Emphasis added).
Nicola Sturgeon is set to announce new rules for Scotland later this afternoon, which are likely to follow the above measures being introduced in England. Her statement will be published in the comments below.
We’ve discussed the changed nature of governance in the UK many times on this blog; the introduction of “rule by decree” – a feature of dictatorships – is now routine here. Clearly, tyrannical rule is tightening its grip. “The New Normal” – which, as we know, is a euphemism for Communism – has, to all intents and purposes, arrived in the UK. We have lost our freedom.
The need for the Pope to obey the Fatima request to consecrate Russia, cannot be over-emphasised. Let’s all pray to that end.