By Rachael Grealish
Boris Johnson has called on the country to ‘take action now’ and ‘use common sense’ as new restrictions are put on the UK.
Today, Tuesday September 22, the Prime Minister announced a u-turn on his ‘get back to work’ message – now saying to work from home if you can – imposed tighter restrictions on wearing masks and places a curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants.
While addressing the nation from No. 10 he said: “The struggle against Covid is the single biggest crisis the world has faced in my lifetime.
“Here in the UK we mourn every person we have lost, and we grieve with their families.
“And yet I am more certain than ever that this is a struggle that humanity will win, and we in this country will win – and to achieve what we must I want to talk to you directly tonight about the choices that we face – none of them easy – and why we must take action now.”
The PM acknowledged the effort many in the UK made during the spring and summer adhering to lockdown rules – but also called out those who breached the rules.
He said: “We followed the guidance to the letter. We stayed at home, protected the NHS, and saved thousands of lives.
“And for months with those disciplines of social distancing we have kept that virus at bay.
“But we have to acknowledge this this is a great and freedom-loving country; and while the vast majority have complied with the rules there have been too many breaches – too many opportunities for our invisible enemy to slip through undetected.”
This breach of rules has sparked many in the country to remember the actions of the PMs adviser, Dominic Cummings who caused controversy earlier this year by driving from London to Durham with suspected COVID symptoms then made a 60 mile round trip to Barnard Castle under the pretext he was ‘testing his eyesight’.
Johnson said the government reserves the ‘right to go further’ with restrictions saying: “I am deeply, spiritually reluctant to make any of these impositions, or infringe anyone’s freedom, but unless we take action the risk is that we will have to go for tougher measures later, when the deaths have already mounted and we have a huge caseload of infection such as we had in the spring.
“But if people don’t follow the rules we have set out, then we must reserve the right to go further. We must take action now because a stitch in time saves nine.”
He also said the army will be used to backfill the police if necessary to enforce the new rules.
The Premier reiterated the months to come would be difficult to fight the virus as he concluded his speech.
He said: “We must rely on our willingness to look out for each other, to protect each other. Never in our history has our collective destiny and our collective health depended so completely on our individual behaviour.
“If we follow these simple rules together, we will get through this winter together. There are unquestionably difficult months to come.
“And the fight against Covid is by no means over. I have no doubt, however, that there are great days ahead.
“But now is the time for us all to summon the discipline, and the resolve, and the spirit of togetherness that will carry us through.”