LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday will urge citizens to work from home where possible, and will also limit the opening hours of bars and restaurants to combat the rapidly spreading second wave of the coronavirus. The opposition accused the prime minister of having lost control of the situation.
With millions of people in the UK already under some form of COVID-19 restriction, Johnson will tighten the partial restrictive measures in England, avoiding another lockdown like in March, the PM's office and ministers said.
Johnson will hold emergency ministerial meetings, address parliament at 2:30 pm Moscow time, and then address the people at 10:00 pm Moscow time after government scientists warned that COVID-19 deaths would rise without urgent action.
Just weeks after urging people to start returning to their jobs, Johnson is now advising them to stay at home whenever possible, cabinet members said. He will also urge pubs, bars, restaurants and other establishments across England to close at 10 p.m. starting Thursday.
“There will be a shift in emphasis. If people can work from home, we will encourage them to do so,” said one of the key cabinet ministers, Michael Gove, in an interview with Sky News.
The new measures will affect the hospitality sector by introducing restrictions on table service. Gove added that citizens who are unable to work from home – for example in manufacturing, construction and retail – can continue to work, with proper security measures.
Schools will remain open, he said.
(Guy Falconbridge, Elizabeth Piper, David Milliken, Andy Bruce, Estelle Shirbon, David Milliken, Sarah Young, Michael Holden, translated by Olga Devyatiarova. Editor Anna Kozlova)