British Prime Minister Says “Hibernation” Comes to an End But He Will Not Hesitate to “Put the Handbrake On” If There Are Outbreaks
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that bars, restaurants, hotels and cinemas will resume their activity from next July 4 in England, date from which the minimum distance will also be reduced from two to one meter of security to avoid the contagions by COVID-19 when it is not possible to save the first one.
In an expected speech before the House of Commons, the ‘premier’ has specified that the “long hibernation is coming to an end” and has defended that “now we can go ahead and safely alleviate the confinement in England” although he has made it clear that “each step will be conditional and reversible”. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, local governments decide on restrictions and confinement.
Johnson has stressed that as has already happened in other countries, “there will be outbreaks”, so the government “will not hesitate” to re-impose restrictions, even at the national level if necessary. “We will continue to rely on the common sense of the British,” he added, inviting citizens to continue to wash their hands frequently and to maintain 2 meters of safety whenever possible.
Thus, as of July 4, pubs and restaurants in England will be able to reopen their doors with a series of security measures, just like hotels, ‘bed and breakfasts’ and camping sites. Hairdressers and barbers, as well as cinemas, game parks, museums, libraries and community centers, may also resume their activity, according to the BBC. For now, they will remain closed among other discos, theaters and swimming pools.
Regarding the reopening of bars and restaurants, the ‘premier’ has encouraged establishments to register the names of their customers and their contact details in order to notify them in case of infections. “We would like it to be done as much as possible and that businesses comply with it,” he said.
In addition to lowering the safety distance to one meter, as long as measures are taken to mitigate contagion such as face masks, Johnson has also given the green light to allow members of one household to be reunited with those of another within a house – until now it was possible only in the garden or an open space – keeping distances. In any case, he insisted that “the fewer social contacts you keep, the safer you will be”.
SUPPORT OF THE OPPOSITION
Johnson’s announcement has been welcomed by the opposition. “There are certainly some questions that need to be answered, but overall I welcome this statement,” said Labor leader Keir Starmer. “I think the government is trying to do the right thing and we will support them in it,” he added.
According to the latest balance published this Tuesday by the Ministry of Health, on the last day there have been another 874 infections and 171 more fatalities, which brings the balance to 306,210 cases and 42,927 deaths. Over the past 24 hours in the UK, more than 237,000 tests have been performed, whereas since the pandemic began, more than 8.3 million COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been performed.
At the daily press conference to present the data, Johnson has insisted that the pandemic is not over and warned that the coronavirus is a “despicable virus that takes advantage of our carelessness”, so he has again appealed to the responsibility of citizens.
“I will not hesitate to apply the handbrake and reverse some of these changes at the local or national level if necessary,” the ‘premier’ has warned, insisting that “we can avoid it if we all continue to be alert and comply with our small part to control the virus. “