‘There are great days ahead’ – but Prime Minister warns of future lockdown if rules are not followed
PUBLISHED: 21:00 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:40 23 September 2020
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned the nation faces an “unquestionably difficult” winter due to coronavirus in his latest address to the nation.
Speaking tonight after earlier setting out a package of new measures for England – including the wider use of face masks and a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants – Mr Johnson indicated even tougher restrictions could be impose if they fail.
Pleading to the “freedom loving” Britons who had breached restrictions, Mr Johnson said he was “deeply, spiritually reluctant” to make the announcement, which came after scientists warned the number of cases is doubling every seven days.
Mr Johnson said: “While the vast majority have complied with the rules, there have been too many breaches - too many opportunities for our invisible enemy to slip through undetected.
“The virus has stated to spread again in an exponential way. Infections are up, hospital admissions are climbing.”
Businesses will face £10,000 fines or closure for failing to comply with coronavirus rules, and people risk £200 penalties for failing to wear masks or breaching the “rule of six”.
The military could be used to free up police officers to tackle coronavirus rulebreakers, while Mr Johnson said the government reserves the “right to go further” if restrictions do not work.
Calling for a “spirit of togetherness”, Mr Johnson said: “If we follow these simple rules together, we will get through this winter together.
“There are unquestionably difficult months to come.
“And the fight against Covid is by no means over. I have no doubt, however, that there are great days ahead.”
Mr Johnson added all parts of the UK were united in the need for decisive action to be taken at a “perilous turning point”.
Earlier today, Mr Johnson announced office workers should work from home where possible, while pubs, bars and restaurants must now be table-service only.
Face coverings will be required for hospitality and retail staff, while taxi passengers must also wear a face mask.
A maximum of 15 people will be allowed to attend weddings from Monday, while the rule of six will also now apply for indoor team sports from Thursday.
Plans to allow crowds attending sports events and businesses conferences have also been shelved.
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