Prime Minister warns ‘inevitable’ second wave of coronavirus has arrived in the UK
PUBLISHED: 18:59 18 September 2020 | UPDATED: 19:38 18 September 2020
Boris Johnson has confirmed that a second wave of Covid-19 has arrived in the UK, calling the news “inevitable”.
The Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said the R number - representing the number of people an infected person will pass the virus to - has risen to between 1.1 and 1.4, meaning cases could rise very quickly.
As ministers announced tough new restrictions affecting 13.5 million people, largely in northern areas, Mr Johnson said they would “keep everything under review”.
“There’s no question, as I’ve said for several weeks now, that we could expect (and) are now seeing a second wave coming in,” he said.
“We are seeing it in France, in Spain, across Europe - it has been absolutely, I’m afraid, inevitable we were going to see it in this country.”
Mr Johnson’s comments came as the R rate in the East of England was shown to be one of the lowest in the country at between 1.0 and 1.3.
Infection rates across our region also continue to be low with the number of reported cases across Suffolk, north Essex and Norfolk having dropped in the past week as well as the number of infections per 100,000 people.
Despite this, ministers have been discussing whether further national restrictions are needed, such as forcing pubs and restaurants to close at 10pm or curbs on people socialising.
The Prime Minister insisted that he did not want a second national lockdown, but said it was essential that people followed social distancing guidelines - including the new “rule of six”.
“But as we look at this particular curve and what is happening now, clearly we are going to keep everything under review. I don’t want to get into a second national lockdown at all, it is the last thing anybody wants,” he said.
“I don’t want to go into bigger lockdown measures at all, we want to keep schools open and it is fantastic the schools have gone back in the way they have. We want to keep the economy open as far as we possibly can, we want to keep businesses going.
“The only way we can do that is obviously if people follow the guidance.”
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