Health Policy
New restrictions introduced in England to stop the spread of Covid-19

By - Integrated Care Journal

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a series of new restrictions in England following an increase of Covid-19 infections. The announcement follows a build-up of discussions with the Government’s scientific and medical advisors, the Cabinet and First Ministers of the devolved administrations.

The new restrictions include:

  • Office workers should work from home again where possible
  • Starting on Thursday, all pubs, restaurants and bars must close at 10pm and operates on a table-service and take away basis only
  • Taxi drivers and people working in retail and hospitality are now required to wear face coverings
  • Fines for not wearing face-covering will double to £200
  • Plan to re-open stadiums for sports clubs has been cancelled
  • The ‘rule of six’ has been extended to indoor sports teams
  • Weddings have been limited to 15 guests

Addressing MPs in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister argued that, although he regrets introducing the new measures which could last up to six months, "this is the moment” to act.

On Monday, in a rare televised address, Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty warned the public that, if no action is taken, Covid-19 infection rates could increase exponentially up to 50,000 per day by mid-October.

"Fifty-thousand cases per day would be expected to lead a month later, so the middle of November say, to 200-plus deaths per day,” said Sir Patrick

Leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer told the House of Commons that he understands and supports Prime Minister on his decision to introduce new restrictions. However, he also criticised the Government for failing to put in place a proper test, track and trace system at this phase of the pandemic.

Mr Johnson concluded with a warning, saying he “reserves right to deploy further firepower with significant strict restrictions”. Following the announcement, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon went one step further with her own restrictions, banning the people from visiting other households indoors from Wednesday.

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