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‘Not time to take our foot off throat of the beast’: PM raises prospect of New Year lockdown

Written by on 26/11/2020

Boris Johnson has warned against “taking our foot off the throat of the beast” of coronavirus as he raised the prospect of a New Year lockdown.

England is due to exit its second national lockdown next Wednesday and, speaking at a Downing Street news conference on Thursday, the prime minister said the action had “prevented our NHS from being overwhelmed”.

But, he added: “Those dangers have not gone away.

“If we ease off now we risk losing control of this virus all over again, casting aside our hard-won gains and forcing us back to a New Year national lockdown with all the damage that would mean.”

Mr Johnson said the “tough measures” in his new three-tiered system of localised restrictions would be the “best way to avoid this outcome”.

The prime minister spoke at the Downing Street news conference having earlier on Thursday ended his period of self-isolation.

Mr Johnson had been forced to quarantine following a meeting with a Conservative MP who later tested positive for COVID-19.

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England’s national lockdown will end next week when 99% of the population will enter the toughest two tiers of the new system of localised restrictions.

Mr Johnson is facing a backlash from Tory MPs following Thursday’s announcement of which local areas will go into which tiers.

Some Conservatives have voiced their anger that their constituencies will now go into a higher tier than the one from which they entered England’s month-long national lockdown.

A small number of Tory MPs have already stated their intention to vote against the new three-tiered system of restrictions in the House of Commons next week.

Meanwhile, others have demanded the government publish an analysis of the impact of the new restrictions before the Commons vote.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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