Boris Johnson Set To Address Nation At 8pm Tonight
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to make a statement to the nation tonight, January 4, at 8.00pm.
It’s expected that Johnson may introduce a third national lockdown, or place the whole country into tier 4, after coronavirus cases drastically increased over the festive period.
Tonight’s announcement comes after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stated that the country would be ‘legally required to stay home’ from midnight tonight.
A No.10 spokesperson said:
The spread of the new variant of COVID-19 has led to rapidly escalating case numbers across the country.
The Prime Minister is clear that further steps must now be taken to arrest this rise and to protect the NHS and save lives. He will set those out this evening.
Johnson has been under increased pressure to tighten tier rules as the country’s COVID rates are four times higher now than they were at the beginning of December, according to BBC News, causing hospitals to be at similar capacities as they were in April 2020 at the peak of the pandemic.
Johnson had warned of tougher restrictions only yesterday, January 3, while on The Andrew Marr Show.
You can watch what he said here:
Labour Party leader Sir Kier Starmer had called for Johnson to announce another national lockdown as a consequence of the rising number of COVID cases. He said, ‘There’s no good the prime minister hinting that further restrictions are coming into place in a week, or two or three. That delay has been the source of so many problems.’
Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt also called for immediate action to be taken. He tweeted earlier today, ‘Time to act: thread on why we need to close schools, borders, and ban all household mixing RIGHT AWAY.’
Hunt continued, ‘To those arguing winter is always like this in the NHS: you are wrong. I faced four serious winter crises as Health Sec and the situation now is off-the-scale worse than any of those.’
Johnson has also received backlash for allowing primary schools to reopen today, despite much of the country being in tier 4. The prime minister insisted that the chances of children contracting the virus are ‘very, very low’ and therefore said it was safe for them to return to school.
Along with schools reopening today, the first person to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine also occurred this morning, marking the roll out of the UK’s second approved COVID vaccine.
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