Boris Johnson under pressure over tougher Covid restrictions amid fears of deadlier second wave

Boris Johnson is under growing pressure to impose heightened Covid-19 restrictions after fears were raised that the second wave could be more deadly than the first.

It comes after the UK recorded its highest daily Covid-19 death toll since May.

Downing Street did not deny a projection provided by Government scientists which suggested the coronavirus death toll could remain high throughout the winter and result in more fatalities than in the spring.

The analysis shared by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has reportedly led to intense lobbying from experts, including chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Valance, to take more drastic action.

is under pressure to impose tougher coronavirus restrictions (AP)

A Government spokeswoman said ministers were receiving advice from a “wide range of scientific and medical experts” and that the latest figures are “concerning”.

Sage analysis suggests the highest level of restrictions, Tier 3, may be needed across all of England by mid-December, according to The Sun.

On Tuesday, the Government said that a further 367 people died within 28 days of testing positive for , while there were another 22,885 lab-confirmed cases of the virus.

The number of deaths is the highest daily figure since May 27, when 422 deaths were reported.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, warned the rising death toll from was likely to “continue for some time”.

The developments came amid concerns that West Yorkshire will soon be moved into Tier 3.

But there was opposition from the Kirklees district where local leaders, including Conservative MPs Jason McCartney and Mark Eastwood, who said they “do not feel comfortable agreeing” to Tier 3 “without any indication of how we get out of these restrictions and how long they will last”.

Nottingham city and surrounding boroughs are set to have the toughest controls imposed on Thursday, but the details of the lockdown expected to be outlined on Tuesday have been delayed.

Nottingham prepares for highest band of restrictions

Lilian Greenwood, the MP for Nottingham South, suggested the delay was due to ministers wanting to extend the restrictions to the whole of Nottinghamshire.

“Public trust is being undermined by their woeful communications,” the Labour MP said.

More than eight million people in England, predominantly in the North, will be under the most stringent restrictions by the end of the week.

Warrington entered Tier 3 on Tuesday, meaning pubs and bars in the Cheshire town must close unless they serve substantial meals.

Households are also banned from mixing indoors or in private gardens and beer gardens, while betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres have been shut.

The North-South divide in the tier system has sparked concern among Tory MPs, with the newly-formed Northern Research Group writing to the Prime Minister to express their fears.

The group, led by former northern powerhouse minister Jake Berry, urged to provide a “clear road map” out of lockdown restrictions.

Mr Berry said: “Never has there been a more pertinent and urgent political and economic case to support people living in the North.

“However, instead of moving forwards on our shared ambitions, the cost of Covid and the virus itself threatens to send the North into reverse.”

The northern seats were instrumental in Mr Johnson’s election victory as the so-called “Red Wall” in former Labour heartlands crumbled.

With Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Yorkshire already in Tier 3, the latest changes will mean 8.2 million people in England living with major curbs on their freedoms.

In other developments:

– Research by Imperial College London estimated that more than 95 per cent of England’s population is unlikely to have the antibodies needed to protect them from coronavirus, and there is a possible decrease in immunity over time after infection.

– Lanarkshire is being considered for the highest level of coronavirus restrictions under the new tiered system in Scotland, with the potential for travel restrictions and hospitality businesses closing.

– The Welsh Government issued an updated list of goods that can be sold during the firebreak lockdown amid calls for a reversal of the ban on purchases of items deemed to be non-essential.

Read original article here.