Great Britain

Fear CANNOT rule us – we might have to live with Covid to save our economy while protecting the vulnerable

Nuclear fallout

THE nuclear option of a new two-week shutdown would be a catastrophe for pubs, restaurants and hotels. We are far from sure it will work. The Government had better be right.

The Sun has been sceptical about ­rising Covid cases. They have so far been largely down to increased tests and are mainly robust young people.

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Even so it is hard to ignore the sudden huge leap today alongside the steady rise in hospitalisations and deaths, the two far more crucial statistics.

The latter total is still a mere fraction of the terrible numbers in April. And hospitals have ample spare capacity. But both measures are increasing relentlessly and cannot be allowed to soar out of control.

It is clear that masks, social distancing, hand-washing and the “rule of six” alone will not reduce them.

Too many people flout those restrictions. Indeed only a fifth of those diagnosed with Covid self-isolate for the required period.

The Government will shortly be reduced to paying them to do so and possibly fining them if they don’t. It is insane to have known Covid sufferers out and about. If you have it, stay put.

Meanwhile the failing test and trace system is useless for controlling the spread. It has buckled under the weight of demand that was entirely predictable, whatever its chief Dido Harding claims.

No one envies this Government’s task. Even so there has never been a more acute sense of them making policy up on the hoof. One minute reviving our dying restaurants with the Eat Out scheme.

The next shutting them down in a panic after deciding that increased socialising caused cases to rocket.

We and our readers will reluctantly have to accept this two-week “circuit-breaker”. At least it does not close schools or most workplaces.

But what if it fails . . . if cases simply surge again once the “circuit” is reconnected? We cannot shut our economy down every couple of months, while praying for a vaccine which might never come. It won’t survive.

We may in the end have to find a way where we can live with this disease and protect the vulnerable as best we can.

We cannot let fear govern us forever.

On the level, PM

BORIS Johnson’s hero Winston Churchill promised Britain nothing but “blood, toil, tears and sweat” as World War Two began.

He did not say: “The Luftwaffe? Pah! We’ll zap them with lasers we haven’t yet invented.”

This is Boris’s misjudgement: Hoping his normally winning optimism will jolly us through the gravest crisis since 1940. And over-promising and under-delivering, when the opposite is needed.

Boris has a strategy to conquer Covid, return Britain to normality and embark on his “levelling-up” mission.

He must start communicating it with the gravitas these grim times deserve.

Boris Johnson promises 'further measures' but doesn't 'want a second national lockdown' to combat coronavirus 'second wave'

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