British prime minister Boris Johnson imposed a new lockdown system on parts of England on Monday, in an effort to curb an acceleration in COVID-19 cases.
Johnson said that pubs, bars and banning wedding receptions, as well as gyms, leisure centres, casinos, betting shops and adult gaming centres in the areas classified at the “very high” level will close from Wednesday. Schools, restaurants and most workplaces will remain open in the “very high” risk areas.
The other alert levels in the new system are “medium” and “high”. Lawmakers will vote on the three-tiered system on Tuesday.
Authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have responsibility for their own health arrangements.
“If we let the virus rip, then the bleak mathematics dictate that we would suffer not only an intolerable death toll from COVID, but we would put such a huge strain on our National Health Service with an uncontrolled second spike that our doctors and nurses would simply be unable to devote themselves to other treatments”, Johnson said, and added:
“This is not how we want to live our lives but this is the narrow path we have to tread between the social and economic trauma of a full lockdown and massive human and indeed economic cost of an uncontained epidemic”.