UK’s government figures under Boris Johnson privately believe the coronavirus lockdown will be extended in England until next year, although it currently ends in early December, according to reports.
Johnson announced on Saturday that England would go into lockdown from Thursday November 5th to December 2nd, 2020.
However, Michael Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, admitted over the weekend that the four-week lockdown could be extended if he did not get enough control of the virus.
Asked on Sunday whether the new lockdown could be extended beyond four weeks, Gove replied ‘yes’ to Sky News and said:’ We will always make a decision in the national interest, based on evidence. ”
Johnson’s UK government ministers told The Times of London that they expect the new nationwide lockdown to continue beyond December 2nd and into the New Year.
“I think it will be after the new year. The transmission rate will not drop enough to justify it. Just look at the graphics. It will be a jobs disaster, ”said one. Another said: “The fear will be that in four weeks the deaths will be higher than they are now, which will give credibility to people who want to keep the national measures in place.”
The newspaper reported that the government was working on a plan that would see some rules relaxed over the Christmas period.
MPs are expected to approve a new lockdown on Wednesday that will see the closure of pubs, restaurants and non-essential stores and the social mixing limited to outdoor gatherings between individuals from two different households. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reversed his recent staunch opposition to a new national lockdown amid the growing number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Johnson is expected to tell members of parliament on Monday that he will “seek” to ease the new national restrictions when the four-week period expires on December 2nd and bring England back into a tiered system of regional lockdown measures.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak told BBC Radio 4 today that the new lockdown measures will end “by law” on December 2nd. “We firmly hope and hope that the measures put in place will be sufficient to do the work we need.” he said.