Boris Johnson: Now is time for maximum vigilance against virus
The Prime Minister is desperate to avoid needing to put tougher lockdown rules in place. A new adverting campaign urging the public to follow the rules is set to start this weekend in the hope to boost compliance.
The number of infections across the country is still extortionately high, with 48,682 new cases recorded yesterday.
While infections have started to drop in the past seven days, the NHS remains under pressure from Covid patients.
There are currently 36,797 people in hospital with coronavirus.
The figure is almost double the number at the peak of the first wave of the virus last Spring, when there were 18,974, patients on April 12.
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Mr Johnson is facing pressure from the Labour Party and some of his scientific advisers to introduce tougher restrictions to help drive the virus down further.
The Cabinet met earlier this week to consider the effectiveness of the current lockdown rules and whether they needed to go further.
The Prime Minister is not expected to outline more measures during the televised briefing at 5pm tonight but instead urge the public once again to stick to the guidance.
He will be joined by the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, and the chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance.
The Prime Minister has said the lockdown is under “constant review” and not ruled out introducing harsher restrictions if required.
He warned the Government “may have to do more” if the current rules “are not being properly observed”.
Scrapping click and collect services at non-essential shops, shutting places of worship and banning exercise with one of person from another household are all thought to have been considered should new measures be needed.
Rumours earlier this week that the support bubble system – which allows those who live on their own to link up with one other household – could be scrapped have been dismissed by Matt Hancock.
“I can rule out removing the bubbles that we have in place – the childcare bubbles [and] the support bubbles are very important and we’re going to keep them,” he said.
“I know how important they are to people and they are an important part of the system that we have got to support people whilst also having these tough measures that are necessary.”
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Earlier this week Health Secretary urged the public to “act like you have the virus”.
He said: “The NHS needs everybody to be doing something, and that something is following the rules.
“It’s your actions now that can make a difference. Stay at home and please reduce all social contact that is not strictly necessary.”
On Tuesday Home Secretary Priti Patel said the police would take firm action against anyone found to be breaking the rules.
She said: “My message today to anyone refusing to do the right thing is simple.
“If you do not play your part our selfless police officers – who are out there risking their own lives every day to keep us safe – they will enforce the regulations.
“And I will back them to do so, to protect our NHS and to save lives.”
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 45,000 fixed-penalty notices have been issued by police to rule-breakers.
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