Boris Johnson ‘considering national lockdown next week’
PUBLISHED: 23:05 30 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:06 31 October 2020
Norfolk could be back under lockdown restrictions next week under national plans reportedly being considered by the Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson will announce the new measures at a press conference on Monday, The Times said, which could see everything closed except essential shops and educational settings.
The restrictions could be introduced on Wednesday and remain in place until December 1, according to the paper.
However, no final decisions are believed to have been made, and tougher regional measures - such as the introduction of Tier 4 - are also being considered.
MORE: Surging new Covid cases push Breckland and Yarmouth to record high
Mr Johnson has so far resisted pressure to reintroduce nationwide restrictions, despite calls for a “circuit-breaker” to curb the rise in coronavirus cases.
But new data published on Friday suggested around 570,000 people per week are becoming infected with Covid-19 across England, prompting fresh calls from scientists for tougher restrictions.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) infection survey found cases “continued to rise steeply” in the week ending October 23, with an estimated 568,100 people in households becoming infected.
Scientific advisers at the top of Government believe it is now too late for a two-week national circuit-breaker to have enough of an effect and a longer national lockdown is needed to drive the reproduction number, or R value, of the virus below one.
All parts of England are on course to eventually end up in Tier 3 restrictions, they believe, while deaths could potentially hit 500 per day within weeks.
Government scientists are also confident that more than 50,000 new cases of coronavirus are now occurring every day in England.
Norfolk and Waveney remain in Tier 1 but cases are rising in most areas.
MORE: Figures show big rise in Covid patients in Norfolk’s hospitals
The latest Public Health England figures for the seven days to October 26, showed the number of Covid-19 cases in Breckland hit a record 200 cases per 100,000 people.
Great Yarmouth also hit a new high for the fourth day in a row with a further 36 cases pushing the town’s rate up to 162.1 per 100,000 people.
Norwich is also back up to 111 cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days.
On Friday, the Government said a further 274 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, while a further 24,405 lab-confirmed cases were recorded in the UK.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said on Friday the reproduction number, or R value, of coronavirus transmission for the whole of the UK is between 1.1 and 1.3 - representing the situation over the last few weeks.
Last week, the group said the R number was slightly higher at between 1.2 and 1.4.
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