Two week lockdown: Will Boris Johnson impose a two-week lockdown? Would it cover whole UK?
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Rumours swirled today the Government was toying with new extra-strength coronavirus measures. A former World Health Organisation (WHO) director claimed Professor Chris Whitty, the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, was allegedly in favour of a two-week lockdown. The lockdown would mark a breach in the Government’s current tack, which has focussed on limited applications of measures to allow continued economic function.
Will Boris Johnson impose a two-week lockdown?
Former WHO chief Anthony Costello took to Twitter to say Professor Whitty was in favour of a two-week lockdown.
He said: “I’m hearing from a well-connected person that government now thinks, in absence of testing, there are 38,000 infections per day.
“Chris Whitty is advising PM for a two-week national lockdown.”
Officials have quickly jumped to deny the report, among them Edward Argar.
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) minister told Sky News’ Kay Burley Boris Johnson hoped to avoid another countrywide lockdown, something he previously dubbed a “nuclear option”.
He said: “It’s not something that I’ve heard about, I know there’s speculation in the press today.
“But it’s not something I’ve seen within the department.”
“The prime minister has been very clear about this, he doesn’t want to see another national lockdown.
“He wants to see people abiding by the regulations and making the local lockdowns work and get that infection rate down.”
Mr Costello also recanted his previous Tweet with new information.
He said: “I’ve been told by another insider I respect that Chris Whitty does not support a two-week lockdown, so I’m pleased to correct the record.”
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The Prime Minister recently reiterated his hopes to avoid another national lockdown to senior MPs.
He revealed his priority was to avoid “disastrous” economic consequences.
Mr Johnson said: “I don’t want a second national lockdown, I think it would be completely wrong for this country.
“We are going to do everything in our power to prevent it.”
“Can we afford it? I very much doubt that the financial consequences would be anything but disastrous.”
Although he has ruled out the possibility of another national lockdown, ministers have identified the need for more stringent measures in North East England.
Mr Argar said a lack of adherence to current guidelines means ministers will have to place new restrictions in the region, which recently saw a surge in COVID-19 cases alongside the North West.
Health Secretary Mary Hancock will announce the measures – which may include a ban on inter-household socialising, travel curbs and 10pm hospitality curfews – in the House of Commons today.
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