Hello. Ministers are still considering whether to tighten up some lockdown regulations – the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg has a helpful guide to the main options here – but they still hope they don’t need them, and instead , the power of persuasion, using messaging to get people to limit their social mix even further will work.
Part of the message is that the NHS is under an unprecedented threat and we are close to the point where if you were to go to hospital you might not be treated properly as beds, staff, equipment and oxygen are all in place. shortage. That’s why Professor Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical adviser, was on the air yesterday.
And this morning, another part of the message is amplified; if you don’t obey the rules, you are more and more likely to be injured. This was implied in a statement released by the Metropolitan Police last week. But just to make the point even more brutally, Dame Cressida Dick, the Met Police Commissioner, came out this morning, with an article in The Times (paywall) and an interview on Today. In her article, she says:
It is absurd to me that anyone can ignore our duty to do all we can to stop the spread of the virus. We have made it clear that those who violate Covid-19 legislation are increasingly exposed to fines.
We will continue to engage, explain and encourage, but those who break the rules or refuse to comply where they should for no good reason will see officers move on to enforcement action much faster.
I will post more of his interview soon.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9h30: Boris Johnson chairs a virtual cabinet meeting.
9h30: The ONS publishes its weekly death figures for England and Wales.
11:30 am: Matt Hancock, Secretary of Health, answers questions in the Commons.
12h: Downing Street is to hold its daily briefing in the lobby.
12h15: Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, holds her daily coronavirus briefing.
Around 1:30 p.m.: Ben Wallace, Secretary of Defense, issues statement to MPs on defense support for Covid response.
Politics Live is now turning into a live blog on the UK coronavirus and, given how the Covid crisis overshadows everything, this will continue for the foreseeable future. But we’ll cover non-Covid political stories as well, and when they seem bigger or more interesting, they will take precedence.
Here is our live blog on the global coronavirus.
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