Prime Minister Boris Johnson appealed to people on Wednesday to adhere to the new rules, repeating his desire to not only protect public health and avert a crippling second wave that could overwhelm the health service but to also keep the economy going. It comes after the Government put much of northeastern England under further restrictions earlier this week.
The rules include pub and restaurant curfews of 10pm, a “rule of six” limit on social gatherings, and mandatory face mask wearing.
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A raft of new measures were introduced during the Government’s first daily COVID-19 press briefing earlier this year, when the UK’s death toll reached 55.
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Mr Johnson set out the need for “drastic action” to tackle the “fast growth” of coronavirus, asking people to work from home if possible, and to stop non-essential travel.
Some six months later – and after a national lockdown was imposed – the UK’s death toll now stands at 42,143, with regional lockdowns now the preferred way to control the virus’s spread.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been nearly 57,900 deaths registered in the UK where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
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While Mr Corbyn reportedly attended a dinner with eight other people, breaking one of the tight restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New laws prohibiting social gatherings of more than six people came into effect on September 14, with police now able to disperse any such gatherings and fine individuals £200 for a first offence.
, which claimed the dinner party took place on September 26, said Mr Corbyn had apologised.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Thursday that extra restrictions to prevent social mixing anywhere apart from public outdoor spaces would be brought in for the Liverpool City Region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.
He told the Commons: “I am today extending these measures that have been in place in the northeast since the start of this week to the
Liverpool city region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.”
He said he understood concerns about pubs and restaurants, many of which have been hurt by the introduction of a 10pm.
Mr Hancock said: ”Our hospitality industry provides so much colour and life in this country.
“And we will do whatever we can to support them while acting fast to keep this virus under control. I know that these measures are hard, and that they are yet another sacrifice.
“We will provide £7 million to local authorities in these areas to support them with their vital work.”