UK Faces Tougher Lockdowns as Covid-19 Outbreak Accelerates in Wales and Manchester
People exit Waterloo station in London, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a range of new restrictions to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)
Around 6 million people in the United Kingdom face tougher COVID-19 lockdowns in coming days as Wales and Manchester, the country’s third largest city, mull additional restrictions as the novel coronavirus outbreak accelerates.
After a public row with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who accused Johnson of attempting to sacrifice the north of England to save jobs in the south, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said a lockdown could be imposed within days.
“We do need to conclude this,” Jenrick said of talks with local leaders, adding that the contours of an agreement were there. Johnson has threatened to impose a lockdown against the will of local leaders if agreement is not possible.
The devolved Welsh government is due on Monday to announce a possible ‘fire break’ set of additional measures to control the virus. Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford is due to make a statement.
“There is a growing consensus we now need to introduce a different set of measures and actions to respond to the virus as it continues to spread across Wales more quickly during the autumn and winter months ahead,” a spokesman for the Welsh government said.