Downing Street is reportedly considering restricting travel beyond the M25 and telling millions over 50 to stay at home under “nuclear plans” to avoid a second nationwide lockdown.
As rates of coronavirus infections rise across the country, Boris Johnson would suspect a radical package of measures to prevent a total shutdown of the economy.
If the R rate increases in London, overnight stays could be banned and people banned from traveling in and outside the capital, the Sunday Times reported.
[“The M25] would be the border point, ”an insider told the newspaper.
Other potential measures include “personalized risk scores” for people aged 50 to 70, in addition to the 2.2 million people who were previously invited to participate in the protection program.
The Downing Street sources distanced themselves from the details of the reports, calling them “speculative,” PA Media reported.
The protection advisory was only lifted on Saturday for those in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and remains in place until August 16 for those protecting in Wales.
But 24 hours earlier, Mr Johnson had been forced to announce a slowdown in the easing of the lockdown, with easing planned for the recreation and beauty sectors delayed after an increase in Covid cases was recorded -19.
The prevalence of the virus in the community is believed to be increasing for the first time since May
Mr Johnson is said to have hosted a ‘war game’ session with Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday to examine possible options to avoid another national lockdown.
In addition to the alleged preparations to avoid the lockdown, experts speculated that ministers may have to order the closure of pubs, which were allowed to resume service on July 4, if schools were to reopen fully in September.
Professor Graham Medley, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said earlier that a “compromise” might be necessary if the Prime Minister’s pledge is to be honored.
His comments followed remarks by Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty that the country was “near the limit” for opening up the company after the coronavirus lockdown.
A No 10 source told the Sunday Times: ‘Another national lockdown is like our nuclear deterrent – we will never rule it out, but it should be the very last resort in the fight against Covid. “