Friday, December 4News For London

Tories urge to lose restrictions as we approach December 2

Leadenhall Market in the time of Covid-19. Photo by Stephen Richards

Tory MPs have demanded an early end to the second lockdown after a minister claimed Boris Johnson is “furious” over being “bounced” into the tough new rules.

Fifty Conservative MPs, including former prime minister Theresa May have rebelled against party leader Boris Johnson’s coronavirus lockdown, which came into force in England on Thursday the 5th of November.

As from them, the PM was forced to sign off the national measures after Government scientists gave a worst-case scenario forecast there could be 4,000 deaths a day.

Public health officials initially predicted that 4,000 deaths a day could happen without intervention – a figure that has since been revised to 1,000 fatalities per day by the start of December.

Another senior MP warned that if the rate of new coronavirus cases and deaths continue slowing, the Government should “be looking at relaxing the restrictions” before their expiry on the 2nd of December. They said: “The economy cannot remain frozen like this.”

Speaking about the future possible restrictions, one Cabinet minister told the Daily Mail that Boris felt like he had been pushed into the decision.

“He was concerned that he may have been bounced into it” the source said. The cabinet minister believes that a third or fourth lockdown is “very unlikely” as it goes against the PM’s beliefs.

As cases appeared to fall, the PM has repeatedly stressed that England will return to the three tiered approach once the lockdown ends on December 2.

However, experts believe the localized approach was beginning to work as on the day England entered the strict lockdown, coronavirus cases in 19 out of London 32 boroughs had fallen.

The city was under Tier 2 restrictions before the lockdown was introduced – meaning friends from different households couldn’t meet in the pub. The R rate has dropped and is currently between 1.0 and 1.2, according to BBC.

The R rate is the reproduction factor. This is the average number of secondary infections produced by a single infected person (Gov.co.uk). An R number of 1 means that on average every person who is infected will infect 1 other person, meaning the total number of infections is stable.

Boris Johnson will concede on Monday that the national lockdown could extend beyond December 2nd amid growing unrest about the restrictions among ministers and Tory MPs.

As today, there has been a slight increase in the number of cases and deaths since the previous week, according to Public Health England. The next two weeks are crucial for ending England lockdown.

The restaurant world is among the hardest hit by this pandemic restrictions.

We asked Ricardo, who opened SweetSmile Bakery & Patisserie in London in December last year, the consequences of the last restrictions for his business.

“As a business owner in London” he said, “I think and feel that this lockdown will have devastating consequences for the economy.

Now with this second lockdown things are very different, a lot of businesses did not recover financially from the first lockdown, which brings them to a very difficult position having to cease trading.”

Ricardo opened the Lavander Hill’s café Sweet Smile in December 2019. Photo by Beatrice Nerli

About his business he admits having seen his sales dropping more than 60%. “It’s a big hit for a small business with less than 1 year” he added.

 It’s still not clear if after December 2 we will go back to the Tier system, but it this looked like a fair balance.

“This was not only helping financially but was also protecting the mental health of the UK population. And this is another big issue that the lockdown brings along”, Ricardo stated.

He added that hearing the PM words of himself “feeling bounced into second lockdown by dodgy data” was very worrying and confirming that the tier system was doing its purpose.

Zoi, 24, receptionist. Photo by Beatrice Nerli

He also commented: “part of the rebellion from the Conservative party is also based on the misleading of the data.”

Zoi, a receptionist in London, is confirming the previous opinion. “The tier system was effective. We saw guests in the restaurant decreasing, as well as the number of the tables we can keep in the dining room. This was a huge loss in terms of revenue for the business, but it’s the only way to stop the spread of Covid-19 and preserve the economy.”

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