A new three-tier system of increasingly tough restrictions will now determine local lockdowns in England, Boris Johnson has announced, with measures levied against Liverpool.
The UK PM made announcements on Monday night and said the north west city was going into Tier Three lockdown, with gyms, betting shops and pubs that mainly serve alcohol among the businesses expected to be closed for at least four weeks.
The government have also made it illegal for different households to meet, taking the area back to the springtime lockdown earlier this year.
Statistics showing around 15,000 positive cases a day appeared to compare badly with highs of around 5,000 a day back in April and May.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson said: “The number of cases has quadrupled, more people in hospital than there were in March, deaths are already rising.
“We cant let the virus rip and we can’t go back into National lockdown so we’ve followed a balanced approach to keep the R down to keep schools and the economy open.
“I don’t want to stop people enjoying themselves, but we must act to save lives.
“Left unchecked each person with the virus will infect three others, the R is between 1.2 and 1.5.
“We need to go further and we will now simplify the measures into a tiered system.
“I’ve spoken to local authorities in the Liverpool city region and they will move into the very high alert level from Wednesday
“Pubs, bars, gyms and leisure centres, betting shops, casinos and adult gaming centres will all close.
“I’d like to put on record my thanks to Steve Rotheram for their co-operation in very difficult circumstances.”
England’s chief medical officer said he was not confident the measures “would be enough to get on top of” the virus.
Prof Chris Whitty said it was likely local authorities in “very high” alert areas would have to go further.
But the prime minister ruled out the “extreme route” of a national lockdown “right now”.
“We have to get that virus down.”
Mr Johnson added: “For now, this is the best utensil we have to fight the virus collectively together – strong local and national measures combined.”
Other cities across the UK such as London also face a further lockdown.
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