Boris Johnson is under pressure to increase social distance to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Leading members of Sage's Scientific Advisory Board would like the measure to be increased from “one meter plus” to “two meters plus”.
In practice, this would change the limit to ten feet – nearly ten feet. The drastic suggestion came when an angry Matt Hancock denounced people who violated social distancing rules.
At a press conference on Downing Street, the Health Secretary said he would "not rule out further action if necessary."
Aided by Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, who sits on top of Sage, he said it was time to double the curbs from Covid – including outdoor contact.
When asked if a ten-foot rule would be introduced in England, a Downing Street spokesman said last night: "There are currently no plans to change the social distancing rules. However, everything is checked. & # 39;
It came when the country recorded another 529 Covid deaths on Monday – a 30 percent increase from the 407 reported the same day last week.
It was the deadliest Monday since April 20, when 570 people lost their lives.
And it was the worst week of death in Britain since the pandemic began. An average of 931 people lost their lives in each of the last seven days, compared to the highest 7-day average of 920 in the first wave in April.
In a positive sign that the UK's rising case load could moderate, 46,169 people tested positive for the virus – a 20 percent decrease in one week.
As Boris Johnson also warned of tougher Covid-19 curbs if existing restrictions were ignored:
- Another 529 virus deaths were recorded yesterday, up from 407 the week before, with 46,169 new cases;
- Seven vaccination centers have been opened, including London's ExCeL and Birmingham Millennium Point.
- Morrisons said it would ban buyers who refuse to wear face covering;
- Derbyshire Police canceled £ 200 fine for two women fined for driving five miles to go for a walk.
- Almost a quarter of nursing home residents have had their first vaccination with Covid.
- Hospitals began rationing oxygen when it was found that every fourth coronavirus patient is under 55 years old.
Boris Johnson is under pressure from members of Sage's Scientific Advisory Board to increase social distance to stop the spread of the coronavirus
The distance was set at two meters in March after experts said the coronavirus was up to ten times more transmittable at one meter than at two. Now experts want the public to stay within the distance of public transport, on supermarket lines and on the go
The Daily Mail was told that several members of Sage say the lockdown must be tougher than the first one in March last year.
The idea of a Chinese-style ban on residents leaving their homes was raised at a meeting.
Ministers are angry that some people are using their right to exercise every day as an excuse to meet friends in the park for coffee.
A source said, “If it means limiting people to a single hour-long walk once a week, that's what we have to do. We can't let a few selfish idiots put the whole country in danger. & # 39;
It is feared that failure to comply with restrictions will increase the number of deaths and risk overwhelming hospitals.
Increasing the social distancing rule to ten feet is seen as a way to stop the spread of the new variant of the virus, which is easier to pass on.
The UK recorded an additional 529 Covid deaths yesterday – a 30 percent increase from the 407 reported the same day last week. It's also the deadliest Monday since April 20, when 570 people lost their lives
Opponents of the move say it will have little impact, create more confusion, and be a logistical nightmare.
Two-meter signs have been painted on sidewalks across the country, with similar notices in tens of thousands of shops, factories, offices and public spaces.
A change would increase the cost of fighting the pandemic.
Supporters claim the benefit of saving lives and protecting the NHS means the move is worth it. They argue that it is an answer to the new variant that is said to be up to 70 percent more transferable.
If it continues, it would be the government's third social distancing policy.
The distance was set at two meters in March after experts said the coronavirus was up to ten times more transmittable at one meter than at two.
After the first lockdown, it was reduced to “one meter plus” in July – mainly to make it easier for restaurants and cafes to reopen.
Two-meter signs have been painted on sidewalks across the country, with similar notices in tens of thousands of shops, factories, offices and public spaces
A two-meter-plus rule in practice would mean staying three meters apart – nearly 10 feet – unless measures were taken to limit the risk of transmission, such as a traffic jam. B. Screens.
Social distancing gaps vary across the world.
In China, Hong Kong and Singapore, which successfully battled the pandemic, the distance was one meter.
However, they imposed other, far stricter rules, including curfews. Spain and Canada followed the two-meter rule.
The other three home countries have different versions of the two-meter rule.
In Scotland, people are advised to stay two meters apart and in Wales they are advised to stay two meters apart, unless this is impractical, with the exception of young children.
The gap in Northern Ireland has narrowed to one meter but is now two again.
Professor Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia said, “The further you are from someone, the less risk you risk.
“Three meters reduces the risk a little compared to two meters – but it's hard to say how much and if that would make a big difference. I suspect the main problem is with people who don't stick to the two-meter rule. & # 39;
Cautioned against trying to push the limits while exercising, Mr. Hancock added, “If too many people break this rule, we'll look at it. Don't say you're exercising if you're really just socializing. & # 39;
He said the two-meter rule should be followed, not as a "limit to be challenged".
Shortly after Mr Hancock's press conference on Downing Street on Monday, the Prime Minister posted a short video that was filmed during his visit to the Ashton Gate vaccination center in Bristol.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was allowed to ride a bike seven miles from where you lived, although he also insists that people "stay".
In it, he urged the British to "follow instructions to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives" as Covid continues to spread rapidly in several parts of the country.
The British shouldn't lose focus on the pandemic as the coronavirus "is still causing big problems for our NHS," Johnson added.
Mr Hancock also used the briefing to defend the Prime Minister after he was seen cycling in the Olympic Park, seven miles from Downing Street, in an apparent violation of government advice.
The health minister said it is allowed to drive this distance from where you live to do sports, although he also insists that people must "stay".
But he also warned that the rules for two people from different households to exercise outdoors together could be lifted if people continued to abuse them.
"If too many people break this rule, we have to look at them, but I don't want to," Hancock said of a 10 briefing last night.
The Prime Minister was seen wearing a hat and face mask on his bike at the venue, seven miles from Downing Street, yesterday afternoon.
Shortly after Mr Hancock's address yesterday, the Prime Minister released a short video (pictured) that was taken during his visit to the Bristol Vaccination Center
In the clip (pictured), he urged the British to "follow instructions to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives" as Covid continues to spread rapidly in several parts of the country
What are the government rules for exercising?
You should minimize the amount of time away from your home, but you can leave home to exercise.
This should be limited to once per day and you shouldn't travel outside of your area.
You can exercise outdoors in a public place:
- of yourself
- with the people you live with
- with your support bubble (if you are legally entitled to create one)
- in a childcare bubble where childcare is offered
- or, if you are alone, with someone from another household
This includes running, biking, hiking, and swimming, among others.
Personal training can be continued individually, unless everyone is in the same household or in the same support bubble.
Public outdoor spaces are:
- Parks, beaches, publicly accessible landscape, forests
- public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter)
- the site of a cultural heritage
A source told the Evening Standard that Mr. Johnson was training along with his security detail.
Exceptionally, the Prime Minister is said to have "noticed how busy" the park was and later pointed this out at a meeting.
According to official government guidelines, movement should be limited to once a day and "you should not travel outside your area".
Two women were fined £ 200 each by Derbyshire Police for walking five miles from their home while officials in Whitby beat people for sledging.
One witness said: “He was leisurely driving with another man in a cap and chatting while about four security guards, possibly more, cycled behind them.
Realizing the person looked like Boris, I drove past them to hear his voice and be sure it was him. It was definitely Boris.
"Given the current situation with Covid, I was shocked to see him driving around so carelessly," added the woman, who asked not to be named.
Even though he advises everyone to stay home and not leave their area, shouldn't they stay in Westminster and not travel to other districts? & # 39;
The Prime Minister's spokesman yesterday was unable to provide any information on why Mr Johnson had gone to Stratford and why it was within the rules.
It is also not clear whether Mr Johnson was ridden to the park on his bike or rode all the way there and back.
Tim Farron, MP for Lib Dem, said, “The government's guidelines for travel to sport are as clear as mud.
“People travel hundreds of miles to the Lake District while others are scared to drive 5 minutes to the local park.
"I wrote to the prime minister asking him to give clear instructions once and for all."
In a video posted on the Prime Minister's official Twitter account last night, which includes footage of Mr Johnson's visit to Bristol on Monday, the Prime Minister praised the government's vaccination program.
But he warned the British that this shouldn't lead to complacency as the new variant of Covid is still spreading rapidly.
Mr. Johnson said, “Hi guys. I'm here at this amazing mass vaccination center in Bristol in a football stadium and it's one of the 50 we'll be rolling out by the end of the month to help all of the over 1,000 GP surgeries across the 233 hospital locations. plus the 200 pharmacies.
“And of course that's just the beginning when we deliver the vaccine.
“When I speak to you this morning, we've done about 2.4 million thrusts, 2 million people in the country who have already been vaccinated, and we're going to increase that massively over the next few weeks as soon as we get it, we hope by the middle February up to 15 million.
“And that is a very ambitious program. We are confident that we can do it.
"But if we bring people to their knees, it is incredibly important that we don't lose focus on the pandemic, which unfortunately is still happening in so many parts of the country and is still filling our hospitals with Covid patients, and still is has big causes, big problems for our NHS.
“So everyone has to follow the instructions. Stay home protect the NHS and save lives. & # 39;
Along with his video, the Prime Minister tweeted, “If we get bumped in the arms, we must not lose sight of the state of the pandemic – which is putting enormous pressure on our NHS.
"So please follow the rules and stay home to protect the NHS and save lives."
Follow the rules, otherwise they'll get tougher: Warning from the Prime Minister as Whitty says We are at worst point of the pandemic
ByJason Groves Political Editor for the Daily Mail
Lockdown restrictions will be tightened again if the public breaks current rules, Boris Johnson warned yesterday.
The Prime Minister said "complacency" in public could plunge the country into a deeper crisis at an already "very dangerous moment".
Health Secretary Matt Hancock reiterated his message last night, saying so-called support bubbles were the only exception that would remain guaranteed.
The warnings came amid growing government concerns that the third lockdown may not bring the recent surge in coronavirus infections under control.
Chris Whitty, chief medical officer, said the UK was "now at the worst point in this epidemic" and urged people to stop seeing friends and family, even under the circumstances. Any "unnecessary" contact risks spreading the virus.
Chris Whitty, chief medical officer, said the UK was "now at the worst point in this epidemic" and urged people not to see friends and family, even under the circumstances. Any "unnecessary" contact risks spreading the virus.
He added, "The most important thing to understand is that in all circumstances you will meet people from another household – and very often these are your friends, your family – but these are situations where the virus is passed on . "
He added, “It doesn't matter who you are, it doesn't matter if they are your friends. If you meet someone from a different household, there is an opportunity for the virus to be transmitted. & # 39;
Ministers are considering a number of other restrictions, including closing the exemption that allows two people from different households to exercise together outdoors.
Government sources yesterday said Mr. Johnson was "reluctant" to scrap the derogation, which is one of the few remaining lifelines for the lonely.
However, there are concerns that this will tarnish the “stay at home” message. The Prime Minister's official spokesman yesterday tried to clarify whether two friends can take drinks out on a walk.
No mask, then you can't go shopping at Morrisons
Morrisons will ban customers who refuse to wear face coverings from its stores as coronavirus infections rise.
Buyers who refuse to wear masks offered by staff are only permitted to be admitted if medically exempted. CEO David Potts said, "Our business colleagues work hard to feed you and your family. Please be kind."
Politicians threaten to spark confrontations at the doors if there are concerns about an increase in abuse and attacks on employees attempting to enforce social distancing rules.
Sainsbury & # 39; s also introduces rules that require customers to shop alone and wear face masks. Security guards challenge those who do not wear a mask or shop in groups.
It came as industry leaders angrily rejected claims by ministers that supermarkets were responsible for spreading the virus.
A retail source said the government was "wise to investigate its own decisions to reduce social distancing rules rather than trying to blame supermarkets".
Mr Hancock said the exemption was currently being examined as it was being abused. “We saw large groups … and you should be two meters away from the other person. If too many people break this rule, we have to look at it.
"But I don't want that, because for many people their only social contact is being able to go for a walk with a friend."
Preschool kindergartens and places of worship could also be restricted if cases continue to increase – but Mr Hancock said support bubbles are inviolable.
The arrangement allows people living alone or with babies to connect to another household for support.
Prime Minister and his fiancée Carrie Symonds are among those who took advantage of the system and formed a support bubble with Miss Symond's mother after the birth of their son Wilfred in April.
Ministers hope that the blunt news of the NHS crisis and stricter enforcement of the rules will lead people to abide by the letter and spirit of the lockdown.
But Labor yesterday called for rules to be tightened, including the closure of kindergartens.
Mr Hancock suggested yesterday evening that a significant relaxation of the rules is unlikely until all over 60s have been vaccinated – which the new plan will not do until at least April.
Only then could ministers be absolutely certain that hospital admissions would decline due to the virus.
But the Covid Recovery Group of Tory MPs speaking out against a lockdown said last night it should be lifted once the 13 million most vulnerable people are vaccinated – which the prime minister had promised by February 15.
Boris Johnson steps into a storm during a lockdown bike ride after being spotted cycling SEVEN MILES from Downing Street in Olympic Park
ByClaire Ellicott Political Correspondent for the Daily Mail
Boris Johnson was accused of undermining his own lockdown rules after it was revealed that he bicycled to play sports seven miles from Downing Street.
The Prime Minister was spotted with his security detail on his bike in the Olympic Park in east London on Sunday afternoon.
With a Transport for London hat and face mask on, he drove around the Stratford site in east London at around 2pm.
A few hours after his drive, Mr Johnson held a meeting with cabinet colleagues to discuss the current lockdown.
Boris Johnson was spotted in Olympic Park seven miles from Downing Street yesterday afternoon. Pictured is PM cycling Beeston last summer
Last night Hammersmith Labor MP Andy Slaughter said, "Once again, it's' do what I say, don't like me" from the Prime Minister.
& # 39; London has some of the highest infection rates in the country. Boris Johnson should lead by example. & # 39;
A source told the Evening Standard that the prime minister was exercising, adding, "But he did notice how busy the park was and he commented on this at the meeting last night.
So what is allowed?
Government rules state that "you should not travel outside your area" to play sports.
However, what is “local” and what is not was up for debate.
At yesterday's Downing Street press conference, Health Secretary Matt Hancock was asked if the British could exercise seven miles from home.
He replied, "It's okay to leave when you've been on a long walk and are seven miles from home. That's okay, but you should stay on-site."
He added: “You shouldn't go from one side of the country to the other and possibly take the virus with you because remember that one in three people who has the virus doesn't know they have it because they don't have symptoms.
"It's okay to go for a long walk or bike ride or exercise, but stay there."
"He was concerned about people obeying the rules and was worried after his ride through the park."
Downing Street declined to comment on the trip and did not want to clarify whether the prime minister rode his bike to the park or was ridden there in a vehicle for his bike tour.
Some social media users have pointed out that there is green space much closer to the Prime Minister's home in Westminster for him to exercise.
Mr Johnson has made it a goal to exercise since he died after signing Covid last March.
To prove that he is “fit as a butcher dog”, he is regularly shown running in nearby St. James & # 39; s Park and with the famous personal trainer Harry Jameson.
He often runs through the Downing Street garden with his dog Dilyn.
The Prime Minister also served on the Buckingham Palace grounds after the Queen gave permission and on the Lambeth Palace grounds after the Archbishop of Canterbury gave his approval.
The Prime Minister's spokesman yesterday was unable to provide any information on why Mr Johnson had gone to Stratford and how it was within the rules.
However, a Downing Street source told the BBC, "The Prime Minister has trained within the Covid rules and any suggestion to the contrary is wrong."
Mr Johnson has warned that he is ready to tighten the lockdown further when he voiced fears that vaccines have made people "complacent" about following rules.
His warnings come as the NHS is on the verge of disaster.
Derbyshire Police ax £ 200 fines for women during the reservoir walk
ByGeorge Odling Crime Reporter for the Daily Mail
Police apologized last night and scrapped £ 200 fines handed over to two women for driving five miles to walk at a beauty spot during the lockdown.
Jessica Allen and Eliza Moore, both 27, were fined for taking a ten-minute trip to Foremark Reservoir in Derbyshire last week after police claimed they could have exercised closer to where they lived.
They said the officers also accused them of having a picnic – for drinking mint tea to take away.
Two friends pictured, Jessica Allen and Eliza Moore, both 27 years old, who were each fined £ 200 by police for driving 10 minutes for a walk in a local reservoir, said their fines were inferior a backlash were canceled
Rachel Swann, Chief Constable of Derbyshire, said last night the criminal charges had been withdrawn and the women had apologized. She added: "I support the fact that officials were trying to encourage people to stay on-site to prevent the virus from spreading.
"We have worked hard to understand the ever-changing guidelines and laws and to communicate this to our officials in a way that makes it clear which actions are right."
Esthetician Miss Allen, from Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, said both she and Miss Moore welcomed the apology. The couple were stunned when the officers shot past the reservoir while strolling.
Miss Allen initially thought someone had been murdered or a child had disappeared. Brian Booth, chairman of the West Yorkshire Police Federation, said yesterday that the officers were left in an impossible situation by "wool laws".
He insisted: “Walking the tightrope between maintaining public trust and complying with the law is not easy with bad leadership. Police officers become scapegoats for bad policies and legislation.
However, esthetician Jessica Allen of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire announced that they had received separate calls from the troop apologizing to both of them and informing them that their fines would be canceled (This card shows the proximity between her house and the reservoir)
Jessica shared how they were surrounded by police when they arrived at Foremark Reservoir in Derbyshire in separate vehicles on Wednesday, "suspecting that there had been a murder".
“For example, make it clear to the public if the practice is to be restricted to local activities and state clearly in the law what is local. Do not include it in guidelines that do not have legal status. & # 39;
Health Secretary Matt Hancock last night praised the police for their efforts to enforce the rules.
After calling the police for clarification, a spokesman for No. 10 said the British were allowed to meet someone else to exercise but not socialize, adding, "Going for a walk counts as exercise, of course."
Meanwhile, police in Devon and Cornwall are using license plate recognition technology to ensure only essential trips are made after hundreds of trip violations were reported over the weekend – many of them related to second homes in the area.
Elsewhere, police were filmed slamming a battering ram through the back door of a pub in Walsall, West Midlands after receiving reports of serving alcohol to a group of men.
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