PM insists four weeks will be enough after second lockdown

Prime minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street on coronavirus. Picture: Leon

Prime minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street on coronavirus. Picture: Leon Neal/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Boris Johnson has insisted four weeks of national lockdown should be enough to drive down the spread of coronavirus so the severe restrictions can be eased.

As the region along with the rest of England was plunged into a second shutdown on Thursday, the prime minister recognised many were “anxious, weary and fed up”.

Mr Johnson said he has “every confidence” the measures will work so the NHS will not be overwhelmed and the lockdown in England can be eased back into a tiered system on December 2.

NHS Chief Executive, Sir Simon Stevens during a media briefing in Downing Street. Picture: PA Video/

NHS Chief Executive, Sir Simon Stevens during a media briefing in Downing Street. Picture: PA Video/PA Wire - Credit: PA

“The advice I have received suggests that four weeks is enough for these measures to make a real impact,” he told his latest Downing Street press conference.

MORE: More than 100 patients in Norfolk hospitals with Covid-19 as coronavirus rates climb“These rules will expire and on December 2 we plan to move back to a tiered approach. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

“These are difficult times. While it pains me to have to ask once again for so many to give up so much, I know we can get through this.”


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He said “the objective” is to return to regional restrictions next month so “people across this country will be able to have as normal a Christmas as possible”.

Pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops have closed their doors and people have been told to stay at home for the next four weeks but schools, universities and nurseries are remaining open.

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By Mr Johnson’s side, NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens assures sceptics that the second wave of the pandemic “is real and serious”.

“The health service has been working incredibly hard to prepare and to catch up on the care that was disrupted during the first wave,” he added.

MORE: Lockdown returns to the high street - what a difference a day makesSir Simon said around 30,000 staff in the health service were either off with coronavirus or having to self-isolate, and “that has an impact”.

Earlier Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the furlough scheme for the Treasury to cover 80pc of wages of employees unable to work until March in a major U-turn after initially resisting calls for it to be continued.

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