‘Last line of defence’: UK considers a second national lockdown
Friday, 18 September 2020
The British government will not rule out a second national lockdown, in light of the increase in coronavirus infections, according to a report published on Friday by the Financial Times.
Scientific advisers have reportedly recommended the government impose a two-week lockdown in October, which would occur during the school half-term to make the impact on education less significant.
The government on Thursday took local action in the northeast of England, “which means more than 10 million people across the UK are now in some form of local lockdown,” according to Sky News, with the announcement of restrictions for Lancashire expected on Friday.
The local action “helps us to avoid a national lockdown, but a national lockdown is the last line of defence,” said Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock on BBC Breakfast. “It is the thing that we can do to keep people safe if that’s needed,” he added.
“I don’t want to see that, but we will do whatever is necessary to keep people safe in a very difficult pandemic,” Hancock told Sky News.
Hancock made an example out of Belgium, saying a second spike in our country came down “because the country (…) came together to tackle the virus.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fire for responding slowly and ineffectively to the first wave of the pandemic. Over 380,000 people in the UK have tested positive for Covid-19, and with almost 42,000 deaths, it is the country with the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in Europe.