Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said that government measures to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic are ‘not working’ and has called for a short lockdown of two to three weeks to bring the virus back under control.
Starmer called for a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown in a news conference on Tuesday, one day after a new three-tier local lockdown system was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Leader of the Opposition said that a “temporary set of clear and effective restrictions” could be introduced to coincide with the October half-term.
Cases of the COVID-19 Coronavirus have been rising sharply over recent weeks and an increasing number of people are also now dying from the virus in England, after a period of relatively few deaths from the virus. According to the latest data, another 143 people have died in the UK after testing positive for the virus – the highest daily total since June.
The new system announced by Boris Johnson on Monday will change very little for most people in the country in the immediate future. The main change that was announced is in the Liverpool city region, where gyms, casinos, bars and pubs which do not serve food will have to close from Wednesday.
Labour’s call for a circuit breaker lockdown comes after newly released documents revealed that SAGE, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, had recommended a “circuit breaker” lockdown three weeks ago at a meeting on 21 September. At the meeting, experts said that such a lockdown would be the best way to control cases, however, the government has not implemented such measures.