Boris Johnson finally made it to the podium on Downing Street yesterday after his press conference had been postponed four times within three hours.
The Prime Minister had been forced to spend two days preparing for the expected announcement on Monday afternoon after yesterday's newspapers leaked – and amid allegations of chaos and backstage fighting on Downing Street.
A grim looking Mr Johnson, who made another U-turn by abandoning his region-to-region approach, warned strongly of the possible death toll from the virus and the prospect that the NHS would be overwhelmed.
To get the message across that the lockdown was rooted in science rather than politics, unlike previous press conferences, the Prime Minister almost immediately called Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty to set out the dates for the new lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new lockdown for England on Saturday. The measure comes into effect on Thursday and is expected to last until December 2nd
The lockdown was announced as infection rates in the UK continued to rise and the country hit more than 1 million cases on Saturday
Although the number of infections is significantly lower than the number of infections, coronavirus deaths have also increased in the UK last month
Mr Johnson said there is now “no alternative” to a second national lockdown, saying, “If we don't act, we could see several thousand deaths a day and an increase in mortality higher than in April.
"The risk is that for the first time in our lives the NHS will not be there for us and our families."
Italy's Troubles When America Sets A New Record
by Jonathan Bucks
ITALY was hit by violent skirmishes on Friday night as protesters against the government's anti-Covid measures clashed with police. Molotov cocktails, bottles and rockets have been hurled in Florence as politicians consider even stricter measures. The country added a record 31,758 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, and the daily death toll doubled to nearly 300 yesterday. Premier Giuseppe Conte has already closed restaurants, gyms, cinemas and theaters and is now considering closing schools.
AMERICA Set a global record for the number of coronavirus cases registered in 24 hours with more than 100,000 new infections on Friday. The daily case count of 100,233 exceeded the 97,894 cases reported by India in a single day in September. The pandemic has killed nearly 230,000 people in the U.S. so far, including 971 on Friday, 17 percent more than two weeks ago. Despite the rising numbers, President Donald Trump claimed in a tweet: "Deaths far below."
SLOVAKIA has launched a program to screen its entire population for coronavirus, which would be a global first. Around 45,000 medical staff, troops and police officers are deployed to test the 5.4 million people in the country and to collect swabs at around 5,000 test points. "The world will watch," said Prime Minister Igor Matovic. Tests are not compulsory, but anyone unable to present a negative test certificate when stopped by the police could be fined heavily.
BRAZIL Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello was hospitalized on Friday, a little over a week after being diagnosed with Covid-19. The 57-year-old Pazuello is the youngest in a line of high-profile politicians infected with coronavirus in Brazil, including its right-wing extremist President Jair Bolsonaro. Twelve of his ministers have now confirmed that they have the disease. Brazil has recorded the second highest number of Covid-19 deaths worldwide, with nearly 160,000 deaths since the epidemic began in February.
GREECE is to be divided into a red and orange high risk zone and a yellow lower risk zone as Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tries to contain the virus. Athens, already badly hit by an alarming surge in cases, is included in the first. Restaurants, fitness studios, theaters, cinemas and museums are closed on Tuesday from 6 a.m. Masks are mandatory both indoors and outdoors across the country, while half of those in the public and private sectors are required to work from home. A nationwide curfew is also imposed between midnight and 5 a.m. The infections in Greece set a new record on Friday with 1,690 new cases.
IRAN will ban weddings, guards and conferences in Tehran until further notice as the hardest-hit Middle Eastern nation battles a third wave of Covid-19, police said yesterday. President Hassan Rouhani also extended the closure of beauty salons, teahouses, cinemas, libraries and gyms for another week.
BELGIUM has imposed a partial lockdown restricting travel, shopping and family contact. The nation is worst hit in the EU, with 1,600 cases per 100,000 population. The government has also extended the week-long school vacation by an additional week.
AUSTRIA Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said an economically damaging second lockdown was the last resort, but Austrian media say tough measures are in the works.
He apologized to the nation "for bothering your Saturday night with more Covid news" and had to admit that "Christmas this year will be different – maybe very different".
But he tried to get a more positive note by adding, "I sincerely hope that we can allow families across the country to be together by taking tough action now."
The Prime Minister also wanted to argue that this lockdown was "less primitive and less restrictive" than the first. But in the next sentence he admitted, "I'm afraid the basic message will be the same from Thursday: stay home, protect the NHS and save lives."
One of the few cheering moments was that Premier League football would continue.
The lockdown announcement came amid reports of fierce behind-the-scenes clashes and a virtual civil war as ministers and senior Tory MPs warned of the continuing damage to an already weakened economy. There were also sources known as "cold rage" that the lockdown plans had leaked.
But Mr Johnson said he would "absolutely not apologize" for pursuing the now-abandoned policy of local and regional lockdowns.
He added: “We must be humble in the face of nature.
"And in this country, as in large parts of Europe, the virus is spreading even faster than in the reasonable worst-case scenario of our scientific advisors." He said the data outlined by Professor Whitty and scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance now suggests that if we don't act we could see deaths in the country of several thousand a day, a high point in mortality, unfortunately greater than that that we saw April & # 39 ;.
When asked why he had not responded to the advice of his scientists weeks ago that a second national lockdown might be necessary, Mr Johnson pointed to the economic “scarring” of such a measure.
It is "an ongoing struggle" for any government to balance life and livelihood, he said. However, he insisted that it was "right and rational to take a regional approach".
Outlining the new lockdown plan, Mr Johnson said, "You must stay home Thursday through early December. You are only allowed out of the house for specific reasons, including education, work, say, when you are away from home can work."
Other exceptions were: "Exercise and recreation in the open air with your household or alone with a person from another household, for medical reasons, appointments and to avoid injuries or damage, to buy groceries and essentials and to take care of vulnerable people A volunteer & # 39 ;.
He added, “I fear non-essential stores, leisure and entertainment venues will be closed even though click and collection services may continue and vital stores remain open so there is no need for supplies.
"Pubs, bars and restaurants will have to close, with the exception of takeaway and delivery services. Workplaces should remain open where people cannot work from home, for example in construction and manufacturing."
The Prime Minister said: "Single adult households can still create exclusive bubbles of support with another household, and children are still allowed to move between houses when their parents are separated."
Mr Johnson stressed that the form of strict shielding would not be repeated for the vulnerable practiced during the last lockdown. But he cautioned, "If you are clinically at risk or if you are over 60, you should take extra care to follow the rules and minimize your contact without others."
And just hours before the end of the vacation program, the Prime Minister announced that it would be extended – in a modified form – until the beginning of December.
Previously, Professor Whitty warned: “If we did not act now, the chances are very good that the NHS will get into extraordinary trouble in December. In a sense, this is to ensure that December is not an impossible place for the NHS as large numbers of people are infected and large numbers are dying. & # 39;
But he tried to lift the darkness by saying he was "one of many scientists" who were "far more optimistic as we look forward to spring" – citing "multiple shots on goal" from scientific breakthroughs in vaccines and Treatments.
The prime minister ended his announcement by repeating "three rays of sun" from his scientific advisers – "the prospect of better drugs, the realistic prospect of vaccines and the hopes we have for quick turnaround testing".
Former Tory Cabinet Secretary David Davis warned the lockdown was likely bigger than "a decision to go to war" and said it was important that MPs get a "substantial vote – and amendment" on Wednesday.
In a sign of the extent of Tory's unease, Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Tory backbench committee, said he would vote against the measure, adding, “There is a grave risk of the lockdown being repeated earlier this year will do far more harm than good. & # 39;
There is likely to be an argument with MPs over plans not to return to the "virtual" parliament from the previous lockdown. Sunday's mail assumes the government will encourage MPs to attend in person if possible, telling them, "Schools are open and parliament will stay open."
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS IN THE UK?
The new lockdown restrictions announced for England on Saturday October 30th are the latest move in the UK.
Different rules now apply in each of the four nations.
This is the picture in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
On Saturday October 30th, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new measures for the whole of England, due to take effect from Thursday.
Pubs, bars, restaurants, and non-essential retail stores will be closed through December 2nd and people will be told to stay home unless they have a specific reason to go, but schools, colleges, and kindergartens will remain open.
People are allowed to do sports and socialize outside with their household or another person in public spaces, but not inside or in private gardens. They can travel to work when they cannot work from home.
All of Wales is currently on a 17-day "fire safety" lockdown that began on October 23rd and will last through November 9th.
People can only leave their homes for limited reasons and have to work from home whenever possible.
Leisure, hospitality and tourism businesses, as well as community centers, libraries and recycling centers, are closed. Places of worship are closed except for funerals or wedding ceremonies.
The majority of Scots will be placed in Level 3 of a new five-tier system as of Monday, the rest of the country in Level 1 or 2.
The central belt – including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Falkirk – is complemented by Dundee and Ayrshire in Level 3.
Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, Fife, the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll and Bute, Perth and Kinross and Angus will be in Level 2.
Highland, Moray, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland were rated as Level 1.
Levels 1, 2 and 3 are largely comparable to the tier system currently in force in England.
Although ministers are considering putting North and South Lanarkshire at Level 4 – which is a complete lockdown – Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Thursday October 29th that no area is currently rated at this highest level.
She has told the Scots not to go to England unless it is for "essential purposes".
Pubs and restaurants were closed for four weeks from October 16, except for food stalls and deliveries. The schools were closed for two weeks.
Retail stores and fitness studios for individual training will remain open.
People were told to work from home when unable to do so, and were told not to take unnecessary travel.