Boris Johnson said a second national lockdown would be the wrong move
PM’s comments came as he unveiled a new three-tier COVID system for local lockdowns in England
Schools, universities and retail will remain open, he insisted
A second national lockdown to reduce the coronavirus’s spread is not “the right course”, Boris Johnson has said.
Announcing the three-tier COVID alert system for England, which will see areas placed into different levels of restrictions depending on their situation, the prime minister rejected any call for a March-style shutdown.
That saw the closures of non-essential shops and certain events, and the public was asked to only leave the house for exercise, to shop for necessities, for medical reasons or to commute when they couldn’t work from home.
Watch: Boris Johnson sets out new local lockdown system for England
Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, Johnson said there “are those who say... we should go back into a full national lockdown of indefinite duration, closing schools and businesses, telling people again to stay at home as we did in March, once again shattering our lives and our society.
“I do not believe that would be the right course.”
“We would not only be depriving our children of their education, we would do such damage to our economy as to erode our long-term ability to fund the NHS and other crucial public services.
“And on the other side of the argument, there are those who think that the patience of the public is now exhausted, that we should abandon the fight against COVID, stand aside, let nature take her course and call a halt to these repressions of liberty.”
The prime minister has insisted that letting coronavirus pass through the population freely would lead to a second wave.
Notably, Johnson insisted any local restrictions would not include retail, schools or universities.
“We want to create the maximum possible local consensus behind this more severe local action, so in each area we will work with local government leaders on the additional measures which should be taken,” he said.
“This could lead to further restrictions on the hospitality, leisure, entertainment or personal care sectors, but retail, schools and universities will remain open.”
Watch: Mayors warn government it cannot lock northern England down ‘on the cheap’