The Prime Minister is publishing a COVID Winter Plan, with new restrictions for gyms in England in December but a break for Christmas
The Prime Minister is hoping to lace his latest set of COVID-19 restrictions with more festive cheer, with the re-opening of gyms and ministers working hard on plans to allow families to be able to meet up within a holiday bubble.
Boris Johnson is unveiling a new blueprint in order to fight the coronavirus pandemic that he hopes will not only be able to save lives during the winter, but also be able to prevent a revolt in Commons by rebel Tory MPs.
The UK’s prime minister is publishing a Winter Plan to deal with COVID-19, which will be including tough new restrictions for England in December, but with a break in precautions of up to five days for the Christmas holidays.
This comes after people in the UK may struggle to get their orders delivered in time for Christmas this year, with a shipping boss warning of chaos at Britain’s biggest port, that is “getting worse” and is leading to a “very challenging” Christmas period.
But despite the new restrictions that are due to replace England’s national lockdown when it ends on the 2nd of December, Mr Johnson will announce:
- Non-essential retail stores will be permitted to re-open, in a boost for Christmas shoppers, as well as the British high streets
- Gyms throughout the country will be allowed to open too, so that the nation doesn’t pile on the pounds throughout the Christmas holidays
- The curfew for pubs and restaurants at 10pm, that critics say did more harm than good, will be removed
- And a large-scale testing programme is to be launched in those Tier 3 areas of the country, using the Army, like with the recent pilot programme within Liverpool
In a statement to the House of Commons, Boris Johnson is not expected to confirm how many households would be able to bubble together during Christmas, or how long the break in COVID-19 restrictions will last. That will be planned for the next day.
The mass COVID-19 testing programme will be launched within areas facing the toughest levels of restrictions, in Tier 3, using the Liverpool model, which the government has claimed to have been a success.
This comes after speaking in his first interview with a broadcaster from the UK, Professor Ugur Sahin, the co-founder of the German firm BioNTech, had said that the first vaccines for COVID-19 could be rolled out to UK patients nationwide by mid-December.
Announcing the testing programme, the prime minister is expected to tell MPs: “The selflessness of people in following the rules is making a difference.”
“The virus is not spreading nearly as quickly as it would if we were not washing our hands, maintaining social distance, wearing masks and so on.”
“And in England, where nationwide measures came into effect at the start of this month, the increase in new cases is flattening off”
“But we are not out of the woods yet. The virus is still present in communities across the country, and remains both far more infectious and far more deadly than seasonal flu.”
“But with expansion in testing and vaccines edging closer to deployment, the regional tiered system will help get the virus back under control and keep it there.”