Boris Johnson spoke to the House of Commons this afternoon and announced new coronavirus restrictions impacting Christmas in an address aired live on ITV’s This Morning.
Speaking at Parliament today (Tuesday, September 22), the PM commended the “fortitude” of the public during the first wave of the virus.
What are the new coronavirus restrictions?
But he apologised as he said the prospect of the second wave was always “real” and the country is now at “a perilous turning point.”
He also said there’s evidence of the virus spreading to other age groups besides the most vulnerable.
Hospital admissions have doubled in the last fortnight, the Prime Minister said.
“This is the moment where we must act…” he explained. The new restrictions, he insisted, do not amount to a full lockdown.
These rules will only work if people comply… they will be enforced by tighter penalties.
From Thursday (September 24), all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate a table service only, and close at 10pm. That’s full closing, not just announcing last orders.
The government is also extending requirements to wear face coverings, for workers in shops, and those in taxis and indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table.
Businesses will be fined and closed if they breach the rules, including with £10k fines.
New coronavirus rules for weddings
And from Monday (September 28), a maximum of 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. However, 30 are still able to attend a funeral.
Further, the rule of six will now apply on all adult team sports.
“These rules will only work if people comply,” Boris Johnson said. “They will be enforced by tighter penalties.”
The penalty for those breaking the rule of six will be £200, for first-time offenders.
Elsewhere, the government has changed its stance on working from home. Previously, workers were encouraged to return to their offices and other places of work. But now, the government is asking people to do their jobs from home, where possible.
The restrictions, he said, will be in place for six months – meaning Christmas is effectively cancelled. “There goes Christmas,” Phillip Schofield said, in the This Morning studio.
Loose Women’s Carol McGiffin ‘raging’ over new COVID-19 rules
Carol McGiffin was fuming afterwards on Loose Women.
The presenter said on the programme: “I am literally raging inside.”
Reacting on Twitter, a number of people were hopeful that Christmas would still be Christmas, whatever the pandemic situation.
One asked: “Did #Boris just cancel #Christmas… ?”
Another tweeted: “You can’t cancel a day on the calendar. It will just be a bit different, a bit more stripped back and maybe we will appreciate it a little bit more this year.”
A third wrote: “I don’t understand. ‘He’s cancelled Christmas’. No he hasn’t. You can still have #Christmas with six people or fewer!”
— IanBroughall (@IanBroughall) September 22, 2020
Sir Patrick Vallance’s coronavirus update
It follows the government’s coronavirus briefing on Monday (September 21).
Amid fears of a second lockdown, Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance updated the public from Downing Street.
They warned Brits must continue to follow the rules to prevent a second spike. Sir Vallance explained: “The way we reduce the spread is limit the number of contact, reducing contact in environments where it’s more likely [to spread].
“The virus has not changed in terms of its ability to cause disease and death.”
Speaking further, he said: “We are in a situation where numbers are clearly increasing, in all age groups.
“At the moment, we think the pandemic is doubling roughly every seven days.”
Sir Vallance said if the virus continues to spread as now, that would lead to 200-plus deaths per day by November.
Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan hit out at Boris on social media after the briefing, calling the PM ‘gutless’.
The presenter slammed Boris on Twitter and accused him of ‘hiding’ behind his senior advisers.
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