Shut Down, Johnson Urges WFH British Citizens For 6 Months
Windowofworld.com – British Prime Minister (PM), Boris Johnson, tightened restrictions on the spread of the Corona virus. He then warned Britons that the new rules were likely to last for six months, as his government was trying to eradicate a return of the disease.
Johnson urged office workers to stay home whenever possible and announced that restaurants and bars should close early each evening starting September 24.
Stricter law enforcement action will follow, with higher fines for people not wearing masks, which are already compulsory on public transport and will become mandatory for taxi passengers as well as workers in the hotel and retail sectors.
“This is a time when we must act,” Johnson told the British Parliament.
“We have the right to deploy a greater firepower with a much larger limit. I really want to avoid taking this step, “he added, as quoted by Bloomberg, Tuesday (22/9/2020).
The measures, which are being replicated across Britain, are a reversal of efforts to reopen the economy after the first national lockdown closed social and commercial activity in March, sparking the country’s deepest recession in more than 100 years.
They also described the difficulties the government faces as it tries to balance the need to protect the economy and stop a pandemic that has killed more people in Britain than any other European country.
Johnson’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Patrick Vallance, warned on Monday that without action, Britain is on track to register 50,000 new Covid-19 cases every day by mid-October.
Johnson insists his plan is not to return to a full national shutdown like in March, as the majority of the economy will remain open.
“We act on the principle that one stitch in time saves nine,” he said.
“By imposing restrictions now, governments can protect the economy from the much tougher and more costly measures that will undoubtedly become necessary in the future,” Johnson said.
He added that the public should assume that the restrictions will be in place for maybe six months.
Under the new rules, bars and restaurants will be ordered to close at 10pm starting Thursday with all transactions limited to table service. Business events resume from October 1 and crowds at the sports venue will be postponed.
“The penalty for not wearing a mask when needed will double to 200 pounds,” Johnson said, pledging to give police and local authorities the extra funds they need to enforce action, and give them the option to avail military support if needed to assist police.
Johnson’s announcement was clearly a tactical change in the government’s approach. Ministers have spent the past two months trying to persuade Britons to return to their workplaces to revive the deserted city center, while sandwich shops and other hospitality businesses struggle to survive.
The UK government also subsidizes restaurant food throughout August in a bid to boost the industry and restore pre-Covid-19 habits of Britons.