A Tory MP added: “It feels like a big crackdown is underway and halfway through is the obvious time to do it.
A Downing Street source said: “We are not ruling anything out. We did not remove a circuit breaker from the table. There are several ways to do this.
“It would not be responsible to exclude any action to combat the virus. ”
News of the talks comes after it emerged that science advisers had proposed shutting down the “circuit breaker” for two weeks last month, but the idea was rejected by the prime minister.
And Sir Keir Starmer tonight ditched his previous multi-party support for government disease efforts to demand a ‘breaker’ lockout for up to three weeks.
Schools would be allowed to stay open during the so-called blackout of up to three weeks, but all other organizations and businesses should be forced to close unless their work is essential, the leader said. Labor.
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Sir Keir declined to quantify the damage the plan would do to the economy, but insisted failure to act would have a worse impact.
He said the shutdown would not last more than three weeks and claimed it would be enough time to bring down the disease’s “R” reproduction rate.
The Labor leader admitted it “would require significant sacrifices across the country” as households were prohibited from mixing and only essential travel allowed.
He said: “We are all concerned about any damage to the economy, but the prolonged agony of the tiered approach – which will need to be accelerated and accelerated over the coming weeks because it will not work – will be much worse. for the economy than our proposed two to three week blackout, which will lower the R rate and actually allow us to ease the restrictions more quickly.
Sir Keir called for the “imminent” introduction of the drastic measure to coincide with the schools mid-term break in order to minimize disruption.
“That would only mean essential work and travel. That everyone who can work from home should. Non-essential offices should be closed.
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“The household mix should be limited to one household, except those that have formed support bubbles.
“And all pubs, bars and restaurants would be closed for two to three weeks – but compensated so that no business loses because of the sacrifices we all have to make. It should also mean the UK Parliament is shifting to remote working. ”
Sir Keir told the Prime Minister at a televised press conference: “You know science supports this approach. You know that the restrictions you introduce will not be enough.
“You know that a blackout is necessary now to bring this virus under control.
“You can’t keep delaying this and come back to the House of Commons every few weeks with another plan that won’t work.
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Senior Tory MP Sir Bernard Jenkin said local council in his constituency of Harwich and North Essex was that a ‘short and sharp shock’ would be the best way to tackle the pandemic.
The chairman of the powerful House of Commons Liaison Committee told Times Radio: “If we reduced the situation now, we would be back to manageable levels before Christmas. If we leave it for another five or six weeks, then… the tail of the bell curve ends well in January.
Mr Johnson told a Cabinet meeting today that the government will continue to work with local authorities to impose sweeping restrictions in worst-affected areas under his new three-tier Covid local alert level regime .
His spokesperson said, “The prime minister said the government continues to work with local leaders in the north to agree on additional interventions in level three areas to reduce transmission of the virus.
“The Prime Minister said that for the City of Liverpool region we have successfully concluded a package of measures and support including the closure of gymnasiums and fitness studios, casinos, adult gaming centers and betting shops.
“This is the way shutting down pubs and bars, which means the set of measures goes beyond the baseline for level three. The Prime Minister said these are difficult steps – but we must protect the NHS and save lives. ”
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Referring to advice from SAGE, the spokesperson said the prime minister must balance the recommendations of science with the potential damage to the economy and society from the lockdown measures.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed today that Mr Johnson had not ruled out another national lockdown.
The Cabinet Minister said: “The Prime Minister has been very clear – we don’t want a blanket national lockdown.
“We are not ruling out anything, that would be wrong. We must keep all measures under review.
“But you can see that there are big variations in the number of cases, ranging from as little as 20 or 30 (per 100,000 people) in parts of the west of the country, up to almost 1,000. cases per 100,000 in some of our big cities like Nottingham. .
“So if we can take a proportionate but localized approach, we should be able to tackle the virus where it is most concentrated.”
He stressed: “We are not penalizing any part of the country – what we are trying to do is take a proportionate approach that does not put in place measures in another where they are clearly not needed today. . “