Boris Johnson: We are entering the last phase of the struggle
Boris Johnson announced a third national lockdown for England on Monday night after Covid infection levels rose to staggering new highs. England has seen the daily positive Covid test numbers reach 50,000 for several days running, prompting the Prime Minister to issue an urgent stay at home warning. Speaking during a televised address in Downing Street, Mr Johnson said the new variant of coronavirus, which is up to 70 percent more transmissible, was spreading in a “frustrating and alarming” manner.
People must “only leave home for limited reasons permitted in law, such as to shop for essentials, to work if you absolutely cannot work from home, to exercise, to seek medical assistance such as getting a Covid test, or to escape domestic abuse.”
The Prime Minister told the public to follow the lockdown rules immediately before they become law in the early hours of Wednesday.
MPs will retrospectively be given a vote on Wednesday when they are recalled early from the Christmas break.
Mr Johnson said: “I want to say to everyone right across the United Kingdom that I know how tough this is, I know how frustrated you are, I know that you have had more than enough of government guidance about defeating this virus. But now more than ever, we must pull together.”
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What time is Rishi Sunak speech on furlough in new lockdown today?
Rishi Sunak will set out plans to offer more help to businesses struggling under the new Covid-19 restrictions today.
Mr Rishi Sunak will set out details of additional support for business in the third lockdown later on Tuesday, Michael Gove has said.
Times Radio’s Tom Newton Dunn tweeted: “The Chancellor is preparing to announce more support for businesses to help get them through the new lockdown and to the Spring. An announcement expected in the next hour.”
The announcement comes after Sir Keir Starmer has called for more support for schools and businesses affected by the lockdown.
The Labour leader backed calls for furlough to be made available for parents who are unable to work because their children’s schools are closed.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The general principle should be that where there are health restrictions there needs to be an economic package to support that.
“Because of the decision last night for a national lockdown there is now a mismatch and that has got to be addressed – and that means for working parents.”
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Boris Johnson announces new national lockdown
While unions and business leaders also called for more support.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady added: “The Government’s financial support package isn’t good enough to cope with this renewed public health emergency. Without more support, jobs will be lost and businesses will close.
“Ministers must act quickly by providing targeted help for hard-hit industries, boosting sick pay to a real Living Wage so that people can afford to self-isolate and increasing Universal Credit.
“And in the wake of school closures, ministers need to help working families by encouraging employers to furlough parents who can’t work because of childcare responsibilities.”
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