The UK government plans to unveil a tiered system to make coronavirus restrictions easier to understand after some members of Johnson’s Tory party alleged the puzzling message has led to an increase in cases.
The Prime Minister is reluctant to call for another national lockdown as the UK economy still struggles to recover from the spring lockdown. The increase in cases leaves Johnson in the balance between controlling the surge and limiting the economic effects of any restrictions.
England’s deputy medical chief said the UK was at a “tipping point” and officials must take action now to prevent a rise in the death toll, Reuters said.
UK Housing Minister Robert Jenrick declined to detail Johnson’s expected announcement to Sky News beyond saying that it will focus on local areas where “the virus is very strong”. He said the announcement would involve local leaders more in monitoring contracts and release new guidance on travel.
Steve Rotheram, the mayor of Liverpool, said on Sunday the city should fall into the tier with the strictest restrictions, which Sky News said could mean the closure of bars, gyms, casinos and bookies. But the mayor has promised any announcement would have to involve money for closed businesses.
The Labor Party, which opposes the Conservative Party, is pushing for more funding for businesses if they are forced to close.
The UK has documented 606,446 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 42,915 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to data from John’s Hopkins University.