COVID-19: UK ministers mull extension of lockdown to 2021

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SENIOR figures in Boris Johnson’s UK government privately believe the coronavirus lockdown will be extended in England until next year, despite currently being due to end at the start of December.

  In a statement released yesterday, Johnson announced that England will go into lockdown on Thursday November 5 until December 2.

However, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove admitted that the four-week lockdown could be extended if it did not sufficiently bring the virus under control.

Asked yesterday whether the new lockdown could be extended beyond four weeks, Gove told the media that it could be possible.

 “We will always take a decision in the national interest, based on evidence.

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“I think it’ll be after the New Year. The rate of transmission is not going to go down enough to justify it. Just look at the graphs. It’s going to be a jobs disaster,” one said.

Buttressing the position, another minister said, “the fear will be that in four weeks’ time, deaths will be higher than they are now, which will give credibility to people who want to keep national measures in place.”

The newspaper reported that the government was working on a plan that would see some rules relaxed over the Christmas period.

Members of Parliament on Wednesday finalised arrangement for a new lockdown that will see pubs, restaurants, and nonessential shops close and social mixing limited to outdoor meetings between individuals from two different households.

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 Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made U-turn on his recent staunch opposition to a new national lockdown amid growing coronavirus case numbers and hospitalisations

Johnson is expected to address members of parliament today to ease the new national restrictions when the four-week period expires on December 2, and move England back into a tiered system of regional lockdown measures.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak in a statement today said that the new lockdown measures would end as a matter of law on December 2.

“Our expectation and firm hope is that the measures put in place will be sufficient to do the job we need,” he said.

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