London, Nov 6 (PTI) The four weeks of coronavirus lockdown imposed in England until December 2 will be enough to make a “real impact” and there is light at the end of that tunnel for “as normal a Christmas as possible”, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
Addressing a briefing from Downing Street on Thursday, the first day of England's latest stay-at-home lockdown, Johnson was asked of the chances of having to extend the lockdown if the surge in coronavirus infections is not brought under control.
He admitted that many people were 'anxious, weary and quite frankly fed up with the very mention of this virus' but stressed that the “tough” new measures are “time-limited'.
'The advice I've received suggests that four weeks is enough for these measures to make a real impact,” Johnson said.
'So these rules will expire and on December 2 we plan to move back to a tiered system. There is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
Pubs, bars, restaurants and all non-essential shops are now closed across England as part of the latest shutdown. People have also been told to stay at home except for when attending school, college, university or work, for medical reasons or when going food shopping.
Johnson referred to the latest statistics to point out the severity of the second wave as there were now 12,320 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, up from 2,602 a month earlier, with 1,142 patients on mechanical ventilators, up from 369 a month earlier.
'If we follow this package of measures in the way that we can and we have done before, I have no doubt people will be able to have as normal a Christmas as possible and that we will be able to get things open before Christmas as well,' he said.
Johnson announced a further 15 million pounds would be given to councils to offer safe accommodation for people sleeping rough or at risk of becoming homeless during England's second lockdown. PTI AK SCY SCY