Friday, 23 Oct 2020

Nigel Farage bluntly points out critical problem with Boris Johnson’s coronavirus rules

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The Brexit Party leader claimed the restrictions are “so complicated” even the Prime Minister does not understand them. Mr Farage took to Twitter after Mr Johnson was forced to apologise for his blunder over new local lockdown measures for large parts of the North East.

Mr Farage blasted: “The rules are so complicated that even the people making them don’t understand.”

The Brexit Party leader’s tweet came after Mr Johnson said he “misspoke” when he was asked to explain the new rules in the North East, which were announced on Monday and come into effect from midnight.

The draconian restrictions ban households mixing in private and social settings in Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham.

When asked if people could meet in a pub garden, the Prime Minister said: “In the North East and other areas where extra-tight measures have been brought in, you should follow the guidance of local authorities but it is six in a home, six in hospitality but as I understand it, not six outside.”

But he later tweeted: “Apologies, I misspoke today.

“In the North East, new rules mean you cannot meet people from different households in social settings indoors, including in pubs, restaurants and your home.

“You should also avoid socialising with other households outside.

“This is vital to control the spread of coronavirus and keep everyone safe.

“If you are in a high risk area, please continue to follow the guidelines from local authorities.”

Mr Johnson’s error came after Education Minister Gillian Keegan was unable to confirm if people could meet in pub gardens.

Ms Keegan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m sorry I can’t clarify that.

“I don’t know the answer to that question but I’m sure they can find out the answer to that question.”

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Pressed on how people are meant to keep up with the latest restrictions when ministers cannot, she said: “I’m sorry I can’t answer that question.

“I’m sure there are many people who could. I don’t represent the North East.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the new measures affecting swathes of the North East in the Commons on Monday.

The restrictions ban households from mixing socially, both in a private house and a public place such as a bar.

It had already been illegal for two households to mix inside or in a garden, but it was only guidance that they should not meet at public venues, including restaurants and pubs.

People risk being slapped with fines for breaching the new rules.

It comes as 7,143 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the UK, according to the Government’s latest figures.

The jump is the biggest daily figure since the outbreak started and takes the overall total to 446,156.

The UK’s death toll stands at 42,072.

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