The British government is considering tougher restrictions on England in order to fight the swiftly accelerating second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, possibly restricting even more inter-household socialising, according to a junior health minister on Monday.
Junior Health Minister Helen Whately told Sky News that “We don’t want to bring on new restrictions but of course we keep a constant eye on what is going on with the COVID rate”.
She added that “We were looking at what we might be able to do.”
United Kingdom newspaper The Times reported that ministers were set to enforce a total social lockdown across a large area of northern England and possibly also London.
The Times also said that all pubs, restaurants and bars might be told to shut down for two weeks.
When asked about The Times report, Whately claimed that the country had come at a really crucial point, and so COVID-19 had to be brought under as much control as possible.
However, Whately did not answer directly on the report that pubs and restaurants would be closed.
She claimed that “This is the moment when we have an opportunity – we have a choice for the country – to get this back under control,” adding that “We have to break these chains of transmission”.
She concluded by saying that the pictures from the weekend of crowds of young people gathering outside pubs after the pubs were ordered to close early were “worrying”.
The UK has suffered from a massive resurgence in new cases over recent weeks, consistently reporting more than 2,500 new cases every day since September 9.
Whilst the number of deaths has slowed down, as of September 27, there were 434,969 total cases in the UK, the fourth highest in Europe, with only Russia, Spain and France being in worse situations.