British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell people on Tuesday to work from home and will impose new curbs on pubs, bars and restaurants in a bid to tackle the swiftly accelerating second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.
In an address to parliament and then to the nation, Johnson will stop some way short of a full national lockdown of the sort he imposed in March.
“We know this won’t be easy, but we must take further action to control the resurgence in cases of the virus and protect the NHS,” Johnson will say, according to excerpts of his remarks distributed by his Downing Street office.
The measures come after senior medics warned on Monday that Britain faced an exponentially growing death rate within weeks unless urgent action was taken.
The new curbs will restrict the hospitality sector to table service only, by law.
Just weeks after urging people to start returning to work, Johnson will advise them to work from home if they can. He will also order all pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality sites across England to start closing at 10 p.m. from Thursday.
“One of the things we are going to emphasise is that if it is possible for people to work from home, we are going to encourage them to do so,” Michael Gove, the minister for the cabinet office, told Sky News.
“There is going to be a shift in emphasis.”
While millions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are already under some form of restriction, Johnson is not expected to announce a fully fledged lockdown of the kind seen in March.