UK leader: Britain at “perilous turning point,” scraps back-to-work drive, tightens restrictions amid virus resurgence
The prime minister of the UK announced new pandemic restrictions to help get the Corona virus under control. Mr Speaker. We will spare no effort in developing vaccines treatments. New forms of mass tested. But unless we palpably make progress, we should assume that the restrictions I've announced will remain in place. For perhaps six months. Great. Britain had been making the opposite of progress after a summer when life largely returned to normal Corona virus numbers in the UK Rose, NPR London correspondent Frank Langfitt is living all of this. Hey there, Frank. Hey, Steve. What of the restrictions and how big a difference is it? Yeah, it's one of things is sort of a curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants are going to have to close at 10 P.m. Bar's Johnson also telling people to work from home if they can to avoid spreading the disease, which is a reversal of the government's position. This is coming after we're up to about 6000 Day in terms of cases, and this is what Johnson also had to say in the House of Commons today. This is the moment when we must act. If we can curb the number of daily infections on DH, reduce the reproduction rate toe one Then Then we we can can save save lives lives protected protected in in a a chest chest on on the the most most vulnerable vulnerable and and shelter shelter the the economy. economy. And And what what he's he's saying saying here. here. Steve Steve is is the the UK UK needs needs to to do do this this now now to avoid the kind of lock down that we saw back in March, which devastated a lot of businesses here, Okay, reducing the reproduction rate to one. That's a statistic he wants each new person on average tow infect less than one new person, although just saying the pub should close it. 10. Is that really a big enough change to make a difference? No, Steve. Most people don't seem to say that I see it that way. And I will include my daughter, Catherine in that she actually works our neighborhood pub and I talked about it this morning. And she says, you know, Late at night. People do get drunk, They become affectionate and there's a lot of ignoring of social distancing, so it will help to close down a little bit earlier, But last call there was at 11 o'clock anyway, so we'll be cutting time, much in that in that pub, and she doesn't think it's going to make that much of a difference, nor, frankly, I think to a lot of people here in England who have heard these measures today. I guess it does make some difference of people do work from home instead of going into the office, if somewhere and that will help. I mean, I think that I think that that will help some a lot of people that we're not going in right now, anyway, a lot of people out of convenience and otherwise they're staying out of London. What's the scientific community saying about these measures? I think something that it needs to go further than what the Gover what Boris Johnson is talking about. Other measures could include no mixing of households or a locked down for a couple of weeks that would try to put the brakes on the virus. It's clear that the government's deeply worried about the economy and doesn't want to go that far right now because the economy's been improving, actually Steve in the past couple of 23 months, and it doesn't want that stop. Now you go into hibernation, so to speak for another six months, according to Boris Johnson, is the country ready, though, if there is a big second wave It's better In some ways, you know, they figured out ways to use steroids to cut the fatality rate. And so that's been very positive. But on the testing front, we don't have the kind of testing system that we hope to many many months ago and cure Starmer. He's the leader of the opposition Labour Party, and today this is what he had to say to Johnson. We warned the promise two months ago that testing need to be fixed by the autumn, but the government didn't listen. They pretended it wasn't a problem. They didn't act quickly enough. Now the testing system isn't working just when we need it. And I got to tell you, Steve, this is a critique you here across the country. Most people I know are stunned that after all these months, the government has not been able to build a testing system that will meet demand.