Oct 12, 2020 - World

U.K. PM Boris Johnson to announce 3-tier coronavirus lockdown system

 Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street for Prime Minister's Questions on October 7, 2020 in London, England.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street in London. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The U.K.'s hospitality industry has begun a legal challenge to prevent new local coronavirus lockdown rules for England being announced Monday from taking effect, per Reuters.

Driving the news: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired a meeting Oct. 7 "to determine the final interventions." He is expected to announce a three-tier alert system to tackle areas where COVID-19 is surging, the BBC notes.

  • Liverpool City Region is expected to be placed under level 3 restrictions that would likely see bars and other venues closed. Steve Rotheram, mayor of the northwest English region, tweeted, "no agreement has yet been reached with Government."
  • U.K. trade body the Night Time Industries Association told Reuters its legal action seeks to stop the most severe measures.
  • "A judicial review would argue that no evidence supports hospitality venues having contributed to the spread" of COVID-19, the Financial Times reports.

The big picture: Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said in a statement Sunday, "We are at a tipping point similar to where we were in March."

  • Van-Tam noted that "an estimated 224,000 people have the virus — up from 116,000 last week" and that hospital admissions for COVID-19 are rising again, "as are intensive care admissions."
  • "Although the epidemic re-started in younger adult age groups in the last few weeks, there is clear evidence of gradual spread into older age groups in the worst affected areas. Sadly, just as night follows day, increases in deaths will now follow on in the next few weeks," Van-Tam said.
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