Dominic Raab today warned the UK against "slipping into a national lockdown" if Boris Johnson's new coronavirus crackdown does not bring the disease under control.
The foreign minister said a second shutdown "is what we want to avoid" but the nuclear option remains in the government's "arsenal" if all else fails.
Mr Raab said he hoped "if everyone plays by the rules" then the nation could go into the Christmas season without a national ban.
He also defended the government's plans to allow police to seek help from the army to help enforce Covid-19.
Mr Raab said military personnel could be drafted to "offload capacity" and allow officials to focus on enforcing rules when he denied claims that soldiers were patrolling the streets as "scaremongering".
The Foreign Minister's intervention came as critics beat the government up for seemingly not taking responsibility for the surge in cases where ministers presided over numerous chaotic U-turns and policy changes in recent months.
Tory MPs said the government's handling of the crisis has been "a total mess" and that repeated changes in official leadership have confused many people across the country as to what the rules actually are.
Meanwhile, it has been alleged that Professor Chris Whitty had told Mr Johnson that England will likely have to follow Scotland's lead in banning visits between households.
"Six months" curbs at a glance
- All pubs, bars and restaurants in England are subject to a curfew at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday. The Prime Minister insists that the premises must kick all customers out by the deadline.
- The hospitality sector will also be limited to table service only, as the government has banned drinkers taking a trip to the bar.
- All indoor retail workers and customers are required to wear masks – unless they are seated to eat or drink.
- All employees who can work from home will be asked to do so from tomorrow.
- The fines for violating the Rule of Six and missing face covering increase to £ 200 for a first offense.
- Police will now have the option to call on the military for assistance, with soldiers possibly being drafted to perform official duties and guarding protected locations so that officers have more time to take action against rule violations.
- The number of people allowed to attend weddings in England will be reduced to 15 from Monday, but the number of people allowed to attend a funeral will remain at 30.
- Plans for the partial return of sports fans to the stadiums on October 1 have been suspended.
- The rule of six exemptions is tightened to ban team sports such as five-on-five soccer games.
Chris Whitty & # 39; Says PM England May Have To Follow Scotland & Ban Indoor Mixing & # 39;
England may have to follow Scotland's lead and prohibit households from visiting each other, Boris Johnson was told by its chief medical officer.
Chris Whitty, who on Monday threatened to cut "unnecessary household ties," reportedly recommended Nicola Sturgeon's persistent approach to the coronavirus to the Prime Minister.
According to reports, the UK chief medical officer believes further restrictions are inevitable this winter and that draconian new measures – including a 10 p.m. curfew for pubs and restaurants – will not bring the virus under control.
The Scottish First Minister claimed that her chief medical officer and national clinical director's advice was that Mr Johnson's program "on its own will not be enough to bring the R number down".
According to The Times, chief physicians from all four home countries met on Monday to give advice to the decentralized administrations. It goes without saying that Prof. Whitty agreed with his Scottish counterpart Gregor Smith.
Jonathan Van Tam and Jenny Harries, Prof. Whitty's MPs, presumably believe the harsh new restrictions in England did not go far enough – but accepted that the Prime Minister would have to take less stringent measures to save the economy first.
A source told the newspaper the plan was a "step-by-step approach" adding, "We are still in early fall and shouldn't be optimistic that this won't get worse."
When Ms. Sturgeon admitted banning Scots visiting one another is a "step backwards" but prevents the coronavirus from "getting out of hand".
The second blocking warning from Mr Raab was as follows:
- Martin Hewitt, chairman of the national police chiefs council, said the introduction of the rule of six had increased the number of people reporting others for violating restrictions.
- The City of London Corporation said it was "disappointed with the blanket call for office workers to return to work from home" and warned "we must find a way to live with it that doesn't cripple our economy".
- Professor John Edmunds, a member of the government's scientific advisory group on emergencies (Sage), said the government will repeat the "mistake" made in March by not responding "quickly enough" to spikes in the number of cases.
- Nicola Sturgeon said a new Covid-19 tipping point has been reached that will require new restrictions in Scotland.
- Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford urged people in the country to "think every time they go on a trip" and avoid unnecessary travel.
Mr Johnson yesterday announced a wave of new restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
He imposed a 10 p.m. curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants across England starting tomorrow, expanded the rules on the compulsory wearing of face covers and urged workers to work from home where they can.
Members of the government's emergency scientific advisory group (Sage) said the curfew would not be enough to slow the rate of infection.
However, Mr. Johnson insisted that his approach was based on an attempt to "balance saving lives with protecting jobs and livelihoods".
However, he said he reserved the right to "use greater firepower" if necessary.
Mr Raab said today that a second national lockdown may be needed to control the spread of the coronavirus if the latest measures don't work.
He told Sky News: “We always said we have some sort of repository for actions in the arsenal.
“I don't think we'd speculate about what else could be done.
"But the reality is they will be more intrusive or we could get caught in a national lockdown." We want to avoid that. & # 39;
The foreign minister said if "everyone is playing by the rules" a national lockdown may not be required at Christmas.
He said, “Let's hope we can get through the winter months if we take these measures and if everyone obeys the rules and we go into the Christmas season without going into this national lockdown with all the implications for society and families but also the damage it would do to businesses. & # 39;
Mr Raab also defended the government's 10 p.m. curfew on hospitality, though figures say only five percent of coronavirus cases are related to pubs, bars and restaurants.
"We know that in bars and restaurants, especially after people have had a few drinks in the late evening hours, there is a risk that compliance may deteriorate a little," he said.
"We are taking this action and are confident, based on the evidence we have at home and abroad, that it is an element of what we need to do."
Mr Raab also defended the government's decision to offer military assistance to the police in order to release officials to focus on enforcing coronavirus rules and imposing fines for rule violations.
He said, “The reality is that there will be stronger enforcement, more powers for the police, higher fines, mostly for the small minority who don't always obey the rules.
“We don't want them to blow it up for the vast majority of people and get into a second lockdown.
& # 39; The problem with the army, like during this pandemic, they have been used to help local authorities, for example, with tests, the supply of PPE and when they can offload the police to do the very difficult job they do incredible well done, you will be there to do that. & # 39;
He said suggestions that troops might patrol the streets were "scaremongering".
Number 10 has emphasized that soldiers do not enforce the rules and are used to occupy office roles or guard protected locations.
However, high-ranking police officers have declined the offer of assistance and declared it unnecessary.
Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs Council, said: “All military support must be carefully considered. No military involvement is required at the moment, nor do we expect it will. & # 39;
John Apter, Chairman of the Federation of Police, said, "This is not what the police asked for, and not what is needed."
Professor Chris Whitty, pictured next to Sir Patrick Vallance in Westminster yesterday, reportedly told Mr Johnson that a ban on household visits is likely to be required
Experts have thrown cold water on the dramatic graph presented by Sir Patrick and Professor Whitty on Monday, saying it was "implausible" that the case numbers would so much outnumber France and Spain. The couple said the UK could see 50,000 new cases a day by mid-October and more than 200 deaths a day by November if the nation doesn't change course
Mr Johnson's new coronavirus crackdown came under scrutiny after Nicola Sturgeon went beyond the prime minister and announced a ban on indoor mixing in Scotland.
The Times reported today that Prof. Whitty, the chief medical officer, has told Mr. Johnson that England likely must follow Scotland's lead on this matter.
Prof. Whitty is said to believe that further restrictions are inevitable and that new measures such as the curfew alone are not enough to bring the virus under control.
His deputies, Jonathan Van Tam and Jenny Harries, are also reported to have raised concerns that the Prime Minister's measures did not go far enough, but the trio appeared to have supported Mr Johnson in attempting his more limited restrictions first.
Professor John Edmunds, a member of Sage, said this morning that action had not been taken quickly enough in March and that this "mistake" would be repeated soon.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today program: “I suspect very tough measures will be taken across the UK at some point, but it will be too late again.
“We're going to double and double the epidemic and double it again until we take these steps.
“And then we have the worst of both worlds, because then in order to slow down the epidemic and reduce it again to a place where it is now or in the summer, we have to put the brakes on for a very long time over the epidemic, very long hard – which we had to do in March because we didn't react quickly enough in March and that's why I think we didn't learn from our mistake back then and we & # 39; I will unfortunately repeat it. & # 39;
Mr Raab said this morning that there would always be the "Goldilocks criticism – too much or too little" when new measures are announced.
However, he said the government was taking a "balanced, focused and proportionate approach" and insisted that the four home states had largely taken a "consistent" approach.
He told BBC Breakfast: “There is always a body of evidence that we all look at. It is slightly different in the four parts of the UK, although we have mostly taken a consistent and common approach.
"We recognize that the decentralized administrations have the power to decide things in a slightly different way."
In a dramatic televised address to the nation last night, Mr Johnson said he was "deeply mentally reticent" to "make any new imposition or violate anyone's liberty".
But he insisted that the measures are necessary and hit his critics when he said: “For those of you who say we don't need this stuff and we should let people take their own risks, I say those risks are not our own. The tragic reality with Covid is that your mild cough can be someone else's death knell.
“And as for the suggestion that we should just imprison the elderly and vulnerable – with all the suffering that would come with it – I have to tell you that this is simply not realistic.
"Because if you let the virus get through the rest of the population, it would inevitably get to the elderly, and in much larger numbers."
In response to the Prime Minister's address, Telford MP Lucy Allan asked on Twitter if Britain's “collective health” was really at risk
Brexit party leader Nigel Farage has blown Mr Johnson's "authoritarian" response to the coronavirus crisis
The Welsh government bans all alcohol sales after 10pm
The Welsh government has banned all alcohol sales across the country after 10 p.m. to crack down on the draconian coronavirus.
Pubs, cafes, restaurants and casinos in Wales can only be operated as table service and close at 10 p.m., announced First Minister Mark Drakeford.
Off-licenses including supermarkets will also be excluded from the sale of alcohol under new restrictions that come into effect tomorrow at 6 p.m.
Mr Drakeford confirmed the measures in a televised address last night following a similar announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The previous Tuesday he had told the Welsh Parliament that he would encourage the people of Wales to only make essential trips.
He said reducing the number of trips and meetings with others has made people less at risk.
The latest crackdown, which Mr Johnson said could take six months, has sparked a growing Tory backlash as anger over the freedom that is being stolen from them has grown.
The decision to abandon the government's return to work has raised major concerns over fears for the future of the warring cities and towns.
Many Tory MPs are increasingly angry with the government's handling of the crisis.
A conservative figure told the FT, “We told people to eat out, now we're telling them to eat. We told people to go back to the office, now we're telling them to work from home.
"It's a total mess and I can't see how people are going to get it."
In response to the Prime Minister's gloomy address, Telford MP Lucy Allan asked on Twitter if Britain's “collective health” was really at risk: “Measures to combat #covid must be proportionate to the risk. The virus poses a serious threat to certain vulnerable groups.
& # 39; We have to protect these groups with targeted measures. The closure of society is massively damaging the health, life and livelihood of the entire population. "
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage accused Mr Johnson of adopting an "authoritarian" response to the coronavirus crisis.
He tweeted: "The Prime Minister says we are a 'freedom loving country' but you will be fined £ 10,000 and send the army in if he wants.
& # 39;That's authoritarian – I don't think he promised tests or government expertise. & # 39;
Boris & # 39; Covid raid bans late night takeaway but allows deliveries, closes pubs after 10 p.m. but not gyms, and forces workers to stay home (if bosses allow): the new ones Rules are fully explained
By David Wilcock, Whitehall Correspondent for MailOnline
Boris Johnson apologetically took a hammer into British social life today as he reinstated lockdown measures in England that should possibly take six months to fend off a second wave of coronavirus.
Pubs and other leisure and hospitality businesses such as restaurants have to expect a curfew from 10 p.m. on Thursday.
People who work in retail stores, travel in taxis, and indoor employees and customers must also wear face-covers – except when they are sitting at a table to eat or drink.
And in a dramatic reversal of recent government efforts to get people back to work, all office workers are advised to work from home as soon as possible, wherever they can.
In a grave Commons statement, the Prime Minister warned that the new curbs could take six months – well beyond Christmas – "unless we make tangible progress".
Here we take a look at the new rules that have been revealed:
PUBS AND RESTAURANTS
Starting this Thursday, businesses selling food or beverages (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other leisure centers or establishments), fairs, theme parks and adventure parks, activities and bingo halls must be between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. be closed in the morning. Some exceptions apply, including cinemas, theaters, and concert halls whose shows start before 10 p.m. However, after 10 p.m. it is not permitted to serve food or drinks to customers.
Companies and venues that sell food for consumption outside the company premises can also do so after 10:00 p.m., provided this is done via a delivery service or a drive through. Self-collected food stalls are prohibited after 10 p.m.
Customers are not allowed to order drinks at the bar. All pubs and bars are only allowed to be table service, like restaurants.
This is a change from the current rules that allowed people to stand at the bar for a beer as long as there was social distance.
This also applies to takeaway services, many of which businesses have backed through the worst of the original lockdown.
However, deliveries of food (and drink) are allowed to resume after 10 p.m. as it is easier to limit human contact.
Certain businesses, including the hospitality and tourism and leisure sectors, close contact services, government-run services and places of worship, are required to have a system in place to collect track and trace information from the NHS and require customers to provide this information do. Companies must retain this data for 21 days and ensure that the rule of six is not violated.
Boris Johnson urged the UK public to "get through this winter together" saying the people must "conjure up the discipline, determination and togetherness that will get us through".
WALES, SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND
The same rules for England are expected to apply in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The decentralized administrations will announce their plans this week.
DOES THE 10PM CURFEW DAMAGE ECONOMICALLY?
The prime minister told the Commons that "the disease tends to spread later in the night after more alcohol is consumed".
In response to Meg Hillier, Labor Chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, he said, “These are not easy decisions, no one wants to restrict the right of restaurants and other businesses to do their legitimate business.
“What we saw from the evidence is that unfortunately the disease spread later in the night after more alcohol was consumed.
"This is a way to shut down the R without causing undue economic damage, and that's the balance we need to find."
Ministers have been warned that a 10 p.m. curfew in pubs and restaurants will be the final nail in the coffin for many businesses still on the water after the first wave of Covid-19.
Disgruntled hospitality bosses fear that they will bear the brunt of Boris Johnson's crackdown on coronavirus when government figures show comparatively low spread of the disease in food and beverage stores.
Data from Public Health England shows that of the 729 outbreaks in the week leading up to September 13, only five percent occurred in grocery stores such as restaurants and pubs – 45 percent in nursing homes, 21 percent in schools and 18 percent in places of work.
People are sitting in a restaurant in Covent Garden, London today when the Prime Minister curtailed civil liberties
Pubs like the French House in Soho in central London have to close at 10pm. These are not the last orders at 10 p.m., this is at 10 p.m.
Tim Martin, founder of Wetherspoons, said: "The curfew won't last a smart person for even five minutes because if you look at the statistics … there are relatively few transmissions of infections in pubs."
The government faced renewed calls for more corporate support and the hospitality industry warned that the new restrictions would be a "major blow".
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade organization UKHospitality, said, "It's hard to understand how these measures are the solution to the disease when government data shows that only 5 percent of infections outside the home are hospitality-related."
Michael Kill, executive director of the Night Time Industries Association, warned that the measures could spark a surge in unregulated events and house parties, which are the real sources of infection attended by frustrated young people who have been denied access to safe and legitimate nighttime hospitality locations & # 39 ;.
Up to 6,000 jobs will be cut at Premier Inn owner Whitbread, who also runs the Beefeater pubs and the Brewers Fayre chains.
The pub chain Wetherspoon also said it wrote to its 1,000 airport employees to warn them that between 400 and 450 jobs are at risk of layoffs.
Officer employees have been instructed to work from home "when possible", although those in "major public services and all professions" where they cannot, such as construction and retail should continue to work
TO WORK FROM HOME
This is likely one of the areas of confusion.
The official guidelines for England state: "If an employer, in consultation with his employee, judges that an employee can carry out his normal duties from home, he should do so."
It is unclear what happens when employers and employees disagree on their ability to “do their normal duties from home”.
Public sector workers in essential services, including educational institutions, should continue to work when necessary.
Everyone else who cannot work from home should go to work.
The risk of transmission can be significantly reduced if the Covid-safe guidelines are strictly followed. People at higher risk should be given special consideration.
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove: "We stress that you should be there when it is safe to work in your workplace, when you are in a Covid-safe workplace, when your job requires it.
"But if you can work from home, you should."
The new embassy brings England in line with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who have advised all people to work from home wherever possible during the pandemic.
If companies are not Covid Safe, violate mask regulations, or violate the rule of six, they will be fined £ 10,000 or shut down.
If people prevent others from self-isolating – such as bosses threatening redundancy – they can also be fined.
Face masks must be worn in public transportation and in many indoor spaces including shops, shopping malls, transportation hubs, museums, galleries, cinemas, and public libraries.
Starting tomorrow, it will be a legal requirement for passengers in taxis and private rental vehicles to wear face covers. As of Thursday, face coverings must also be worn in eateries such as restaurants and bars, except when you are eating and drinking. Retail and hospitality workers are also required by law to wear face covers.
Police and Transport for London (TfL) officers have enforcement powers if necessary, including imposing £ 200 fines (halved to £ 100 if paid within 14 days).
It comes after the World Health Organization and numerous studies have shown it to be beneficial.
As announced, the government will make changes that mean these repeat offender fines would double to a maximum of £ 6,400 for each offense.
The prime minister has also announced tougher enforcement measures, which will face fines or closures for companies for failing to comply with coronavirus rules. This has consequences for pubs trying to serve you at the bar.
Commuters walk across London Bridge during the morning rush hour in September
A man is enjoying a drink at The Kings Ford Pub in Chingford, East London, as the Prime Minister made his announcement in the House of Commons this afternoon
Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Board of Police Chiefs, said: "Individuals, businesses and households are all responsible for keeping the virus suppressed, and the police force will do their part to help the public guide the measures that apply to our security."
& # 39; Our approach of connecting with people and explaining the rules that apply will remain. The vast majority of situations are resolved after these two phases with no further encouragement or enforcement, ”he said.
The police will continue to work with their communities and only impose fines as a last resort.
& # 39; The Chiefs will step up their patrols in risk areas and proactively work with businesses, licensing and local authorities to ensure rules are followed.
"If members of the public are concerned that the law is being violated or they experience unsocial behavior, they can report it to the police, who will consider the most appropriate response and target the most problematic behavior."
SIX RULE AND SELF-ISOLATION
In England, a maximum of six people from multiple households can meet indoors and outdoors – in private houses, pubs, restaurants and parks.
All age groups are included in the number of employees. There are some exceptions – for example, when a single household has more than six residents.
The rule of six has been expanded to include the areas of "leisure", "entertainment", "tourism" and "close contact". The latter includes hairdressers and other beauty treatments.
More details are expected on what this will specifically mean for places like gyms, although today Mr Johnson banned indoor group sports like five-on-five soccer.
That means hairdressers, nail bars, and beauty salons can still work right now, but they need to further reduce the number of people who can serve them at the same time.
Anyone who breaks the UK social gathering rules will be fined £ 200, with the penalty doubling up to £ 3,200 for each subsequent repetition.
Businesses that break the rule of six will be fined £ 10,000 or shut down.
Further guidance on these details is awaited but has yet to be released by the government.
Those with coronavirus symptoms who do not self-isolate will face fines of £ 1,000, rising to £ 10,000 for repeat offenses from September 28th.
Downing Street said soldiers could also be drafted as part of Operation Temperer to help police enforce the strict measures.
A spokesman said troops would not hand out fines or close stores but could be used to guard places like Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and Parliament so police could use their resources to enforce the new measures.
Operation Temperer enables up to 5,000 service employees from all three services to “reinforce armed police officers who perform security protection tasks” at these locations.
It is used to assist the police after a terrorist attack or public disturbance first used in the UK after the Manchester Arena bombing.
The Prime Minister's spokesman said: “(The police) will have the opportunity to call upon military assistance through established mechanisms.
"This would mean the military would replenish certain tasks like office roles and guarding protected locations so that police officers can't enforce the virus response."
“It is not about giving the military additional powers or replacing the police in enforcement roles, and they will not impose fines. It's about releasing more cops. & # 39;
However, Martin Hewitt, the chairman of the National Police Chiefs Council, said no military involvement was necessary.
He said, “Policing is a unique role and any military support must be carefully considered. No military involvement is required at the moment, nor do we expect it will. & # 39;
The schools remain unaffected by the new restrictions. In addition to protecting the economy, one of the main focuses of today's announcements is the government's desire to prioritize keeping schools open.
Mr Johnson said, “I want to stress that this is by no means a return to a full March lockdown. We do not issue general instructions to stay home.
“We will ensure that schools, colleges and universities remain open – because nothing is more important than the education, health and well-being of our young people. We will ensure that companies can stay open in a Covid-compliant manner. & # 39;
WEDDINGS AND REASONS
Starting next Monday, wedding ceremonies and receptions in England must be limited to 15 people – from 30 people.
Funeral homes are exempt from the new restrictions, however, with the maximum number of mourners remaining at 30.
Celebrations this weekend will barely bypass the new restrictions.
Outlining the action in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson said, “Fifth, now is the time to tighten the rule of six.
"I'm afraid that from Monday a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, although up to now 30 can still attend a funeral."
Starting next Monday, wedding ceremonies and receptions in England must be limited to 15 people – from 30 people. Funeral homes are exempt from the new restrictions, however, with the maximum number of mourners remaining at 30
Current guidelines state that up to 30 participants are allowed in Wales, while in Scotland ceremonies and receptions are limited to 20 and the number depends on the venue in Northern Ireland.
A bride who was due to get married on December 12 after a five-year engagement and originally planned a 100-person wedding in Norfolk said she felt “gutted” after the announcement.
"We then see people online saying that it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter and at least we don't have Covid and then we feel that our feelings are not valid," 40-year-old Laura Brown told the PA news agency .
"It's a day, but it's so much more than a day because of all the emotions that go into it."
In the meantime, the self-employed wedding receptionist Chris Gray from Glasgow described the restrictions on weddings as "nonsensical", for example that couples have to wear blankets during the ceremony.
The 29-year-old added, "This has resulted in so many people having to cancel or rearrange weddings and in the short term it was an absolute hammer blow to cash flow for me."
OTHER PUBLIC SPACES
People can spend time outdoors as often as they want, including for sports. You should adhere to group size guidelines at all times and meet in groups of no more than six people, unless there is a statutory exception.
You should aim to walk or bike when you can, but where not possible you can use public transport or drive.
It is difficult to distance yourself socially while driving, and coronavirus transmission can occur in this context.
Hence, people should avoid traveling with someone outside of their household or support bubble unless they can practice social distancing.
In England, a maximum of six people can participate in indoor team sports. However, major sporting events and conferences will not take place from October 1st as planned.
Mr Johnson announced that the planned return of spectators to sports venues in England could be suspended for six months, adding to the prospect of more months of games behind closed doors.
A number of pilots took place with capacity limited to 1,000, and it was hoped that venues could welcome more spectators from early October.
In England, a maximum of six people can participate in indoor team sports. However, major sporting events and conferences will not take place from October 1st as planned
In England, a maximum of six people can participate in indoor team sports. However, major sporting events and conferences will not take place from October 1st as planned
However, the Prime Minister put a number of tough new restrictions on England to limit the spread of Covid-19.
"We must acknowledge that the spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and major sporting events," he told the House of Commons.
“So we won't be able to do this from October 1st and I recognize the impact on our sports clubs, which are the life and soul of our communities, and … the Chancellor and Secretary of Culture are urgently working on what we do can do now to support them. & # 39;
He said the measures announced Tuesday would stay in place for "maybe six months".
It is a devastating blow to sports organizations, many of which rely heavily on matchday income to survive, and calls have been made by government agencies for the government to provide emergency funding.
The professional sport, including the Premier League and test cricket, has largely been played behind closed doors since returning after the coronavirus shutdown earlier this year.
The Ministry of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport confirmed that all pilot events planned for September have now been canceled. They will now take place without fans.
In a statement this afternoon, the Premier League said fans were "as safe or even safer than any other public activity currently allowed".
"The Premier League takes note of today's government announcement and while the nation's health must remain a priority we are disappointed that the safe return of fans to the Games has been postponed," it said.
& # 39; The Premier League is confident that fans in stadiums will be just as safe or even safer than any other through league-wide guidelines and a code of conduct developed with scientific experts and agreed by the Government's Sports Field Safety Agency currently permitted public activity. This is already evident in other European leagues. & # 39;
How long do the new restrictions apply?
The new restrictions put in place today could last six months – but Mr Johnson has insisted they don't represent a return to the March national lockdown.
He said, “This virus is a fact in our lives for now and I have to tell the House and the country that our fight against it will continue.
"We will not listen to those who say they are ripping the virus apart, nor those who are calling for a permanent lockdown. We are taking decisive and appropriate steps to balance saving human life with protecting jobs and livelihoods. & # 39;
Many families will look forward to Christmas after hearing the new rules – but ministers have insisted they don't want to ruin the holiday season.
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