Coronavirus restrictions in England may be escalated and a second full national lockdown implemented if needed according to the Government. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Britons to “summon the discipline and resolve”. But could households soon be banned from mixing in England?
A ban on visiting other people’s homes has been extended across Scotland as part of new measures to slow the spread of coronavirus across the country.
Households are still permitted to meet indoors in England.
The ban has been in effect since September 2 across the west of Scotland and is believed to be having an impact.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney told the BBC: “The rise is not as fast as it was and we think it is to do with the application of restrictions around the ability to meet in people’s houses.
“And we’ve now taken that step across the whole country.”
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The Prime Minister urged the nation to follow lockdown rules to avoid a second national lockdown on Tuesday.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said “we can’t rule out” a second lockdown, but stressed the Government will “take every effort to avoid that”.
Mr Raab told Sky News: “We’ve always said we’ve got a sort of repository of measures in the arsenal to take.
“I don’t think we would speculate about what further could be done.
“But the reality is they will be more intrusive or we could end up in a national lockdown. That is what we want to avoid.”
Will households be banned from mixing in England?
The Government’s chief scientific adviser this week stated that if current trends continue, by mid-October new cases could reach 50,000 every day.
New restrictions are aimed at helping slow the spread of the virus, but some experts claim the measures need to be stricter.
Head of Epidemiology and Population Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Professor Edmunds told Radio 4: “I don’t think the measures have gone anywhere near far enough. We have to put stringent measures in place, and as fast as possible.
“I suspect we will see very stringent measures coming into place throughout the UK again at some point. But it will be too late again.
“We will have let the epidemic double and double and double again until we do take those measures. “We didn’t react quick enough in March, we haven’t learned enough… and we are about to repeat it.”
SAGE member Professor Peter Openshaw said a ban on households mixing must come “sooner rather than later”.
Professor Openshaw told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I would think if we wait two or three weeks it will be too late. It ought to be introduced sooner rather than later.”
He added people could still see other households outside and there are ways this could be handled.
Professor Openshaw added outdoor meetings are “quite safe”, but when meeting outside “proper precautions” would still need to be taken.