Covid-19 deaths could be twice as high over the winter as they were in the first wave of the pandemic, PM Boris Johnson is expected to warn MPs later.
In a Parliamentary statement he will say there is “no alternative” as he seeks to win support for the planned four-week lockdown across England. But Mr Johnson will explain he was “right to try every possible option” before ordering people to stay at home.Labour has said it will back the lockdown but criticised the delay.
Mr Johnson announced at a Downing Street news conference on Saturday that strict measures would be imposed across England from Thursday, closing pubs, restaurants, gyms, non-essential shops and places of worship.Full details of the regulations are expected to be published before MPs vote on the measure on Wednesday.
However, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed that moving house will still be allowed during the restrictions, adding that removals firms, estate agents and tradespeople can continue to work but must follow Covid safety guidelines.
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Mr Johnson is expected to acknowledge that some MPs believe “we should have reached this decision earlier”, but will defend his earlier decision to try to control the virus with “strong local action and strong local leadership”.In his address to MPs, the prime minister is expected to say: “Models of our scientists suggest that unless we act now, we could see deaths over the winter that are twice as bad or more compared with the first wave.The prime minister is due to tell MPs that the government will “seek to ease restrictions” on 2 December and return to the current three-tier system.On Sunday, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said the lockdown could be extended if it took longer.