From my perch here in Canterbury, I’m a keen observer of the moves the United Kingdom (UK) government is making with regard to Coronavirus restrictions.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a briefing, along with two of his advisers, to break the bad news about the need to tighten restrictions. Here are the current UK stats:
The key restriction was that, beginning next Monday, people in England can only gather, indoors or out, in groups of six maximum. This is a reduction for the current allowance of groups of 30. Police will be empowered to fine or arrest those who do not mind the rule. Johnson was clear that “this is not a second national lockdown” and that “it breaks his heart to have to insist on the restrictions”.
For my geo-politically-challenged readers, the UK consists of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Each has limited self-government and each controls its own COVID restrictions. Those announced by Johnson yesterday apply to England only. The details for the entire UK are available here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51506729
In England, pubs, restaurants, shops, places of worship, and other venues will remain open as before, but people can only attend in groups of up to six.
Face coverings are compulsory if you’re using public transport and must be worn in shops. Oddly, shop workers are exempt.
The UK has “hot spots” of infection and that has caused some recent local lockdowns, for example, on the city of Leicester, to be applied in response.
The stats here in my corner of England are comparatively very good:
During Johnson’s briefing, charts were shown indicating that young people (teens, 20s, 30s) were responsible for the majority of new COVID cases.
As in many other countries, the lure of the beach, and vacation-related, large-scale outdoor gatherings were too much to resist for many, resulting in virus spread. With colder weather ahead of us, it’s hoped the numbers will go down.