Johnson: There's no alternative except a lockdown

British Prime Minister will say on Monday there is no alternative but to lock down England amid coronavirus surge.

Elad Benari ,

Boris Johnson in Parliament
Boris Johnson in Parliament

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Monday say there is no alternative but to lock down England as lawmakers prepare to vote on measures to contain a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported on Sunday.

Johnson on Saturday announced that restrictions across England will begin after midnight on Thursday and last until December 2.

The United Kingdom, which has the highest official COVID-19 death toll in Europe, is grappling with more than 20,000 new cases a day. Scientists have warned a worst-case scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded this winter.

“Models of our scientists suggest that unless we act now, we could see deaths over the winter that are twice as bad or more compared with the first wave,” Johnson is expected to say, according to his office.

“Faced with these latest figures, there is no alternative but to take further action at a national level.”

As part of the new measures, essential shops, schools, and universities in England will remain open but pubs and restaurants will be shut apart from for takeaways. Outbound international travel will be discouraged except for work and non-essential retail will close.

Lawmakers will vote on these measures on Wednesday. The opposition Labour Party has offered its support.

The rest of the United Kingdom - Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - have their own lockdown policies and enacted tougher health restrictions last month.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove on Sunday said England’s lockdown could be extended beyond December 2 if necessary, but Johnson will tell lawmakers that an extension is not the plan, according to Reuters.

After announcing a lockdown on March 23 in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Britain, Johnson in May outlined a roadmap for a return to routine.

The British Prime Minister himself dealt with the virus and even had to go into intensive care.

He later revealed that his health deteriorated so badly after contracting coronavirus that a strategy was drawn up in case he died.