DAUK feature in CNN Edition: UK Prime Minister says “tougher restrictions” to come

Coronavirus restrictions in England are “alas probably about to get tougher,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday.

Speaking to the BBC, Johnson said: “It may be that we need to do things in the next few weeks that will be tougher in many parts of the country. I am fully reconciled with that.

“I bet the people of this country are reconciled to that,” he added during an appearance on the Andrew Marr Show. 

Pressed to elaborate what those tougher restrictions might be, Boris Johnson said: “There are obviously a range of tougher measures that we would have to consider. I don’t want to speculate, I’m not going to speculate now about what they would be.

“Clearly, school closures that we had to do in March is one of those things (…),” he added, as the controversy over the government’s mixed messages over schools reopening continues to dominate headlines in the UK.

Controversy over school opening: On Friday, it was announced that primary schools in London would be closed — but many primary schools in England are still expected to open Monday. 

In an official letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the Doctors’ Association UK warned that the government should review the need to close schools and universities nationally. 

“Studies from Imperial College London show that the new COVID-19 variant has higher transmissibility and showed increasing numbers during the lockdown in November, especially in those aged under 20 years old. This may have been influenced by schools remaining open. The evidence is pointing towards urgent action being required to curb the spread all over the UK,” the organization wrote.

Surge in cases: On Saturday, the UK recorded its highest daily rise in coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic, with a further 57,725 new coronavirus cases and 445 deaths.

Echoing his warning in October last year, Johnson warned on Sunday that: “It is bumpy, and it’s going to be bumpy.”

Under the current coronavirus “Tiers” system, most of England falls under the toughest Tier 3 and Tier 4 restrictions — with the latter in place for all of London — with a strict stay-at-home message.

Read the full text here from January 3 2021: https://edition.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-pandemic-vaccine-updates-01-03-21/h_bbf0326563a818336d53f31e964e1022