British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives to attend a meeting. File photo
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday imposed a tiered system of further restrictions on parts of England including closing some pubs as the COVID-19 outbreak accelerates, though anger is rising at the cost of the curtailment of freedoms.
Johnson's three-tier system, announced in parliament, is an attempt to standardise a patchwork of often complicated and confusing restrictions imposed across England.
Lawmakers will vote on the move.
The lockdowns will include shutting pubs and bars in areas placed into the "very high" alert level. So far, Merseyside is the only area yet in that category and there gyms, leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos will also close, Johnson said.
"We must act to save lives," Johnson told parliament, adding that he did not want another national lockdown.
"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 with an uncontrolled second spike that our doctors and nurses would simply be unable to devote themselves to other treatments."
Health officials say the freshest data showed infections were rising across the north of England and in some more southerly areas too while the virus was creeping up age bands towards the elderly from those aged 16-29 years.
Manchester intensive care consultant Jane Eddleston said 30% of critical care beds were taken up with COVID-19 patients - starting to impact on healthcare for others.
Each casualty of the virus lost an average of 10 years of life when they died, according to an analysis by respected think tank the Health Foundation.
"This is not a bubble story. Real people are furious, because they have been doing the right thing and isolating," the minister said. A second unnamed minister cited by the newspaper said that retaining the adviser was "increasingly" looking as a "sign of weakness".
Johnson had already postponed the trip once from January, when COVID-19 infections were high in Britain. Infections in India are currently surging as the country endures a second wave of the virus.
As a poll for the Observer newspaper indicated growing dissatisfaction with Johnson's handling of the crisis, he wrote in the Mail on Sunday paper: "I understand that people will feel frustrated with some of the new rules."
Renewed allegations of racism at Buckingham Palace threatened to overshadow Prince William’s trip to the United States after campaigners said the palace needed to acknowledge a wider problem that goes beyond one member of staff.
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has conferred the Medal of Independence of the First Order on Waravuth Pouapinya, Ambassador of Thailand to the UAE, in recognition of his contributions in enhancing UAE-Thai relations in various fields.
A couple found the envelope, which in addition to the wad of notes contained a withdrawal slip that included the man's address. They went to his home to return the cash in full.