Johnson shuts pubs in parts of England with new COVID curbs
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a tiered system of further restrictions on parts of England on Monday, including shutting pubs, to curb an acceleration in COVID-19 cases, though anger was rising at the cost of the curtailment of freedoms.
Johnson announced a new three-tiered system in an attempt to standardize a patchwork of often complicated and confusing restrictions imposed across England. Lawmakers will vote on the move on Tuesday.
The lockdowns will include shutting pubs and bars in areas placed in the “very high” alert level from Wednesday. The other alert levels in the new system are “medium” and “high”.
So far, Merseyside in northwest England - which includes the city of Liverpool - is the only area classified at the “very high” level. Gyms, leisure centres, casinos, betting shops, and adult gaming centres there will also close, Johnson said.
“We must act to save lives,” Johnson told parliament, adding that he did not want another national lockdown and that he understood the frustrations of those chafing at the “repressions of liberty”.
“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 NHS (National Health Service) with an uncontrolled second spike that our doctors and nurses would simply be unable to devote themselves to other treatments.”