Over the next 24 hours, a new national lockdown should be declared because the coronavirus is out of reach, said Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was accused by the opposition leader of ruling over a “mess” and insisted it was “inevitable” that more schools had to be closed.
Sir Keir told reporters that within weeks, the prime minister should not hint at new restrictions but act within hours.
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His remarks came after Mr. Johnson indicated that in the coming weeks a harsher crackdown on Covid will be implemented.
Clearly, the virus is out of balance.
At unspecified times, it is not enough for the Prime Minister to hint at more limitations and then do nothing.
Over the next 24 hours, it must bring national restrictions into effect.
No dithering any more, no hesitation anymore.
January 3, 2021 – Keir Starmer (@Keir Starmer)
The Labor leader said, “Clearly, the virus is out of control.”
“We cannot allow the prime minister to spend the next two or three weeks and then introduce a national lockdown, which is inevitable,” he said.
“And now do it. That’s the first step possible to get the virus back under control.
Sir Keir said, “Everybody wants kids to go back to school,” as debate erupted about whether to close more schools. There’s no one who is going to deny that.
I don’t want to call for schools to close tomorrow morning and add to the chaos, but we need to understand that more schools are eventually coming to a close, and we need to have a strategy to deal with that.
But it can only be part of a wider plan that in the next 24 hours will entail a nationwide lockout.
He’s not doing it, but the prime minister is hinting at it. We can’t afford this pause again.
We don’t want the prime minister to say, ‘I’m going to do it, but not yet,’ because that’s the dilemma he’s had so many times before.
“Nationwide lockdown – the prime minister has indicated that’s going to happen, but he’s delaying it again.”
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Earlier, Johnson had said coronavirus restrictions in England were “likely to get tougher” due to increasing infection rates, referring to the Tiers scheme.
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
On BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, the prime minister said, “We may have to do things that will be tougher over the next few weeks in many parts of the country.”
“I am fully reconciled to that.
Obviously, there are a range of harder steps we need to take.
I’m not going to talk about what they’re going to be now, but I’m sure all of our viewers and listeners are going to understand what kinds of things they’re going to be… Obviously, one of those things is school closures that we had to do in March.