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World England's month-long lockdown could be extended, says Michael Gove

14:15  01 november  2020
14:15  01 november  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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Why you can trust Sky News. England ' s month - long lockdown could be extended beyond 2 December if necessary, cabinet minister Michael Gove has told Sky News. Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday, the Tory frontbencher also defended the reintroduction of nationwide restrictions

England could spend Christmas under a full lockdown if the four-week November shutdown fails to tackle the second wave of coronavirus sweeping the nation, Michael Gove suggested today. The Cabinet Office Minister raised the spectre of a gloomy December with pubs, restaurants and

A second national lockdown in England will begin on Thursday © PA A second national lockdown in England will begin on Thursday

England's month-long lockdown could be extended beyond 2 December if necessary, cabinet minister Michael Gove has told Sky News.

Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday, the Tory frontbencher also defended the delay in reintroducing the nationwide restrictions, which had been called by the government's own scientific advisers back in September.

Tougher action was needed now because the "situation has been worse than any of us expected" and threatened to overwhelm the NHS, said Mr Gove.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential retail will close from Thursday for four weeks across England, with furlough payments at 80% extended for the duration of the new measures.

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The prime minister met Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, Michael Gove , the Cabinet Office minister, and Matt Hancock, the health secretary, to discuss He is expected to hold a press conference at 6.30pm today, following a cabinet meeting this afternoon. It is believed that everything could be closed under

It says the government needs to give reasons for stopping services during lockdown . England ' s four-week lockdown will see most religious services banned. Funerals will still be allowed, with a The lockdown is due to run from Thursday to 2 December - but Michael Gove says it could be extended .

Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, Conservative Party MP for Surrey Heath, arrives on Downing Street for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in London, England, on October 13, 2020. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images) © David Cliff/NurPhoto Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, Conservative Party MP for Surrey Heath, arrives on Downing Street for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in London, England, on October 13, 2020. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

People will be allowed to exercise and socialise in public spaces outside with their household or one other person, but not indoors or in private gardens, and will be able to travel to work if they cannot work from home.

Unlike during the first lockdown, schools, universities and nurseries will remain open.

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Announcing the measures, Boris Johnson said there was "no alternative" to a second lockdown and that "no responsible prime minister" could ignore the rising number of coronavirus infections across England.

He also warned that, without action, there could be a greater number of COVID-19 deaths this winter than during the spring's first wave of the pandemic.


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MPs are expected to vote on the fresh measures on Wednesday.

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Mr Gove said the government would review the data during November, adding he hoped the infection rate would be "significantly reduced" by the start of next month.

But he said it would be "foolish" to predict what would happen with the pandemic over the next four weeks, and admitted the lockdown may have to be extended.

Asked if the national restrictions could be extended, he replied: "Yes."

Opposition Labour party leader Keir Starmer leaves Millbank studios in central London on October 30, 2020. - Britain's main opposition Labour party today urged shocked members to stand united against anti-Semitism, appealing against a renewal of internecine Opposition Labour party leader Keir Starmer leaves Millbank studios in central London on October 30, 2020. - Britain's main opposition Labour party today urged shocked members to stand united against anti-Semitism, appealing against a renewal of internecine "civil war" following the suspension of its left-wing former leader. (Photo by Hollie Adams / AFP) (Photo by HOLLIE ADAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

He said: "We will always take a decision in the national interest, based on evidence.

"We want to be in a position where we can - and I believe that this is likely to be the case - have an approach where if we bring down the rate of infection sufficiently we can reduce measures nationally and also reduce measures regionally."

Mr Gove said a regional approach would allow the future targeting of "a specific upsurge in specific areas".

His warning was echoed by former chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport, who said while the latest lockdown in England as "definitely" better late than never, it was "obviously a possibility" the restrictions could last longer than the first.

A woman gathers information outside a COVID-19 testing centre in the centre of Bradford, west Yorkshire on October 31, 2020, as the number of cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 rises. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering imposing a new lockdown across England within days following warnings his localised restrictions strategy has failed to curb soaring coronavirus rates, reports said Saturday. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) A woman gathers information outside a COVID-19 testing centre in the centre of Bradford, west Yorkshire on October 31, 2020, as the number of cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 rises. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering imposing a new lockdown across England within days following warnings his localised restrictions strategy has failed to curb soaring coronavirus rates, reports said Saturday. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

He told Ridge: "The lockdown is not as severe as it was first time round, so the only way to know is to see how quickly the new cases start dropping.

"As we know, there's a lag between the case developing, hospitalisation and the horrible consequences of severe illness or death…

"It's unlikely this time to come down quite as fast as it did during the first lockdown because we have got schools open."

Pressed if the new lockdown could be longer than the one in the spring, Sir Mark said: "It's obviously a possibility, yes and the only way to know is going to be to really count cases as accurately as possible."

As Londoners await the announcement of a second coronavirus lockdown it's business as usual in the West End with people out socialising outside the bars and restaurants on Old Compton Street in Soho on what will be the last weekend before a month-long total lockdown in the UK on 31st October 2020 in London, United Kingdom. The three tier system in the UK has not worked sufficiently, to suppress the virus, and there have have been calls by politicians for a 'circuit breaker' complete lockdown to be announced to help the growing spread of the Covid-19. (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images) © Mike Kemp As Londoners await the announcement of a second coronavirus lockdown it's business as usual in the West End with people out socialising outside the bars and restaurants on Old Compton Street in Soho on what will be the last weekend before a month-long total lockdown in the UK on 31st October 2020 in London, United Kingdom. The three tier system in the UK has not worked sufficiently, to suppress the virus, and there have have been calls by politicians for a 'circuit breaker' complete lockdown to be announced to help the growing spread of the Covid-19. (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

He also cast doubt on people being able to gather at Christmas, telling Ridge: "I think the virus is sublimely indifferent as to what day of the week it is and indeed whether it's Christmas or any other festivals, so it does seem a bit unlikely that it's going to be a completely normal Christmas, that's for sure."

Professor Jeremy Farrar, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), has also suggested restrictions could be extended beyond 2 December.

Referring to the date, he told BBC's Andrew Marr: "I think it's useful, I just don't think we can become fixed on it. We don't know what the situation is going to be like in the last week of November and the first week of December, we all hope that four weeks is going to be enough."

Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer said Labour "will support the government's message" but called on them to fix the issues around troubled NHS test and trace system.

He added: "They've promised so much and delivered so little."

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Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

Bank Injects £150 Billion Into U.K. Economy to Blunt Impact of Lockdown .
The second COVID wave has brought strict new lockdowns across Europe and business owners say they won't survive.Members of the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to expand its quantitative easing program to £895bn ($1.1 trillion), but held rates at the historic low of 0.1 percent. It said gross domestic product (GDP), the value of a country's products and services, will pick up in the first quarter of 2021, but warned that activity will still remain "materially lower" than before the COVID crisis.

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