Great Britain

Further uncertainty as Government 'can not rule out' second national lockdown

MILLIONS of people have been plunged into further uncertainty as a minister has revealed the Government "can rule nothing out" when it comes to Covid restrictions. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel says the Government can rule nothing out when it comes to coronavirus restrictions – including a national lockdown.

Asked if she would rule out another national lockdown, Ms Patel said: “Well I think at this stage of course we can rule nothing out because we are a Government that is focused on making sure that we stop the spread of this virus, and also we protect public health.

“So we have been using, and we are using and we will continue to use, every single means available to us to do exactly that.”

The prospect of a national lockdown could devastate millions of families and businesses currently grappling with the tiered system.

While different areas of the country battle against their own restrictions, political leaders in the North-East are scheduled to meet on Thursday afternoon to discuss whether the region should be placed in Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.

They have previously stated their opposition to the idea, saying coronavirus cases had stabilised and the NHS locally could cope.

The director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin, said: “Given the rising rates of infection and growing pressures on bed occupancy, we would urge the Government to take a cautious and pre-emptive approach which means being tougher and quicker in its response.

“We don’t have enough information to say whether it’s time to move to a national lockdown, and we completely recognise the gravity and impact of such a decision.

“However, to ensure the NHS is able to maintain high quality care for patients, Covid and non-Covid, politicians must be ready to make tough decisions early rather than late.”

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