REDDITCH and the rest of the country could be plunged back into lockdown as early as Wednesday (November 4) as Prime Minister Boris Johnson mulls a new national Coronavirus crackdown.
The restrictions could see everything apart from nurseries, schools, universities and essential shops such as supermarkets closed, almost mirroring March’s shutdown.
No date has been confirmed for when any restrictions would be lifted but there are reports the Government’s current view is to close the country down until December 1 in the hope of bringing the virus under control in time for Christmas.
Documents from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) released on Friday showed Covid-19 was spreading significantly faster through England than the Government’s own predicted worst-case scenario for cases and hospital admissions.
Sage had estimated 85,000 deaths from coronavirus over the course of the winter, but an official document dated October 14 and published yesterday reveals England is already in a worse position than expected.
The pivot to a national lockdown comes only hours after county health chiefs issued a plea to help keep the virus under control.
Dr Kathryn Cobain, the Director for Public Health in Worcestershire said; “I am really concerned to see the rising infection rate. This is a clear indication that people are not social distancing and following the rules which can help prevent the virus spreading.
“I am appealing to everyone to stop the virus spreading. The figures show that the virus is spreading rapidly. Everyone needs to think about how you are going about your daily lives; washing your hands regularly and wearing face coverings where it is compulsory to do so and keeping at a social distance.
“The virus only moves around because we mix and socialise. This is how it spreads. It is really imperative that we break the chains of transmission, and continue to follow the guidance.
“You can reduce your own risk to the virus and protect those you love, by following the rules and keeping Covid-19 under control.”
Should the Prime Minister give the green light to the plans on Monday (November 2), the proposed lockdown will be longer than the two week ‘circuit breaker’ proposed by Labour leader Keir Starmer earlier this month.
At the time a Government source said: “Starmer is a shameless opportunist playing political games in the middle of a global pandemic.”