Coronavirus

Boris Johnson says tougher restrictions to be announced in due course

Stricter measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be announced in “due course”, according to Boris Johnson.

More than 50,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases were reported on Sunday, the sixth day in a row.

Despite Labour calling for more stringent rules to be put in place across England, Mr Johnson has said they are still deliberating on the best course of action.

He said: “What we have been waiting for is to see the impact of the tier four measures on the virus and it is a bit unclear, still, at the moment.
“But if you look at the numbers, there is no question that we are going to have to take tougher measures and we will be announcing those in due course.”

A Tier system is currently in place across England but speaking to BBC 4’s Today programme, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock conceded that the “old tier system” was “no longer strong enough” to contain increasing infections.

There is growing pressure for schools to close as unions question how safe they will be amid the new strain of COVID-19 and the hospitals are once again starting to fill up.

However, Downing Street there are currently no plans to recall the Commons after MPs were given an extended Christmas break to 11 January. In addition, Mr Johnson is not convening a meeting of his Coronavirus Operations (CO) committee today to discuss possible tightening of regional restrictions.

The AstraZeneca vaccine rollout started on Monday, and the company has said it can produce two million doses a week. Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, this treatment can be stored at normal fridge temperature, making it easier to store and transport.

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