Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “we must act” to avoid another lockdown as virus cases soar in England.
And the new “six rule” that limits gatherings to a maximum of six people, and imposed fines or arrests on them.
Johnson also outlined a “shoot-out” plan to control the virus through mass testing.
This comes as the United Kingdom reported another 2,659 cases of coronavirus, which is the fourth consecutive day for more than 2,000 reported cases.
“I want to be completely clear, these measures are not another national lockdown. The whole goal is to avoid a second national lockdown,” Johnson said.
“It breaks my heart to insist on these restrictions,” he added.
The prime minister said the government was “working hard” to increase testing capacity to 500,000 tests per day by the end of October.
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But he said they also want to use new types of tests “in the near future” to identify people who do not have the Coronavirus and are not contagious so that they can live life in a “more natural way.”
These swab or saliva tests could turn around in 90 or even 20 minutes, he said, with millions treated each day – trying to “shoot” to restore more normalcy even if no vaccine or treatment is available.
‘A challenging winter’
“Hopefully this approach will spread by spring, and if it all comes together, then it might be possible – even for some of the more challenging sectors like theaters – for life to be closer to normal before Christmas.”
Developing rapid coronavirus tests that can yield results up to 20 minutes would be a great step.
It can lead to regular testing of the entire population, allowing us to return to normal life.
But it depends on the success of the pilots. You then have to manufacture and distribute it. There are a lot of terms and conditions.
The prime minister said he hopes it will be available in the spring – very ambitious.
Meanwhile, the winter will be very difficult.
Respiratory viruses tend to perform better in cold weather and when people spend more time indoors.
Explaining the new restrictions limiting all gatherings to six people, Johnson said the government was “simplifying and strengthening the rules” after reactions from the police and the public.
He said the restrictions would only be applied “as long as it is necessary.”
“I am sorry for that. I hope we do not have to take this step, but as prime minister I must do what is necessary to stop the spread of the virus and save lives,” he said.
The new “rule of six” means:
- Social gatherings For more than six people In England it will not be allowed by law From Monday September 14th
- The new base It applies to people in private homes, indoors and outdoors, Places such as bars, restaurants, cafes and outdoor public places
- that It applies to all ages
- Al-Qaeda It does not apply to schools and workplacesOr, weddings, funerals and organized team sports
- A complete list of exemptions To be published before the law changes
- People Who ignores the police He can be fined £ 100 – double each offense to a maximum of £ 3,200
Currently, the directives state that two families of any size are permitted to meet indoors or outdoors, or up to six people from different homes outdoors. Until now the police had no authority to stop gatherings unless they were over thirty.
The number of people allowed to meet within or outside the UK varies in the four countries of the UK. If you meet indoors: Up to eight people From three different families they could meet Scotland; Up to six people From two families in northern Ireland; Up to four families It can form an “extended family” in Wells.