While addressing the House of Commons, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled out a possible lockdown amid the rising cases of COVID-19 across the country but instead used a three-stage alert system.
Although the prime minister said the cases in the countries were flashing like a dashboard warning on a passenger jet, he was unwilling to allow the local lockdown to be re-initiated.
The third level alert system assigns regions to three different categories, including very high, high, or medium.
Mixing indoor and outdoor households is prohibited in regions classified as “very high”. All pubs and bars that do not sell meals will remain closed and entry and exit into the area are limited. The rules of six also apply to outdoor areas such as beaches and parks.
For the regions labeled “high”, indoor mixing of households is not allowed, and the rule of six applies to outdoors.
For “medium” regions, pubs and restaurants do not open after 10 p.m. and the rule of six applies to all indoor and outdoor meetings.
Most areas have been placed in the “Medium” level, and those areas for which additional local restrictions already apply have automatically been assigned the “High-alert” level.
The Liverpool City regions, with approximately 1.5 million people, are the newest regions to fall under the “High Alert” category. Other regions that have also been placed in the same category are Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire, and part of great Manchester. This means that around 4.4 million people are in alert areas.
In this regions, betting shops, casinos, gyms, and leisure centers will be closed according to government orders.
The England chief medical officer said he was not confident that the measures would be enough to get the virus under control. Prof. Chris Witty said residents of the regions who are on high alert need to take further steps.
Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, witty said that without additional local rules, the basic restrictions in very high alert regions would not be enough to contain the spread of COVID-19.
However, the Prime Minister said the rules would be enough to contain the spread if implemented very effectively.
Minutes from a meeting of government science advisors last month suggested a brief national lockdown to contain the rising virus cases, but the prime minister has ruled out such a possibility, calling it an extreme path and is currently unavailable.
The Prime Minister also said schools, universities, and retail stores will continue to operate even as COVID-19 cases rise. He added that this is not how they want to live their lives, but it is a narrow path they must walk between the social and economic trauma of a complete lockdown and the massive human and actual economic costs of an uncontrolled epidemic.
The Minute also shows that NHS testing and tracking have little impact on COVID-19 and will continue to decline over time unless the system grows to keep up with the rise in new cases.
Lena Wood graduated from John Carroll University in the year 2002. She born and grown up in Dallas but later she moved to Cleveland for Studying. Lena has written for several major publications including Community Newspapers and News Desk. Lena is a community Reporter and also Covers National Topics.