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London lockdown: UK residents split over new coronavirus policies

Pubs and restaurants already have a 10 pm curfew under Tier 1, but new rules mean Londoners are prohibited from mixing with other households within any setting. Outdoor gatherings are limited to six people and people are advised to avoid using public transportation if possible.

Schools, places of worship and businesses may remain open, leading many to doubt the restrictions.

“I’m tired,” Rebecca Duncan, a 39-year-old from south London, told CNN. “It’s like something starts to open and life starts to seem slightly normal and then something else comes along and pushes us all back.”

He called the new rules “ridiculous,” saying he could still go to the gym, have a massage or sit next to strangers in a cafe but not socialize with anyone from another household.

Duncan said he supports businesses staying open, but he will have to cancel a meal out with five friends next week. “The restaurant will disappear, as well as taxis and trains and other related businesses. Being unable to socialize will have a bigger knock-on effect on the business ̵

1; I can’t finish my hair, buy new top, have a manicure. “

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Liverpool, in northwestern England, was the only region to be placed on the “very high” level of Tier 3 alert when Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a nationwide three-tier Covid Alert system on Wednesday .

Level 3 restrictions may vary but in Liverpool, pubs and bars must be closed unless they operate as restaurants; gyms, betting shops and casinos should also close; Weddings with more than 15 guests are not allowed, and people are advised to avoid traveling in or out of their local area where possible.

The province of Lancashire agreed to enter Tier 3 on Friday, but local leaders in the city of Manchester were locked in a government standoff after they refused a move to put the area at the highest level. alert.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said in a statement on Thursday that the government’s “erroneous and unfair approach” is asking local authorities to “gamble jobs, homes and businesses and large chunks of our economy in an approach that their own experts say. they may not work. “

In a BBC interview on Friday morning, UK Secretary of State Dominic Raab urged Burnham “to do the right thing for the people of Manchester,” accept the support package offered by the government and move to Tier 3.

Calls for national lockdown

Johnson stressed the localized restrictions on his bringing in the new system, rejecting opposition demands for a lockdown “circuit breaker” across England. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have different area restrictions, with Wales refusing to allow travelers from coronavirus hotspots to other UK countries to cross its borders.

A preliminary paper written by scientific advisors to the UK government said thousands of deaths would be avoided before the end of the year if a two-week circuit breaker was imposed as soon as possible.

CNN asked local residents around Well Street Common, east London, for their views on the new Tier 2 restriction.

London resident Monica Richardson told CNN she was concerned about the older generation being isolated under the new rules.

“I feel like this is probably the right step. Winter is coming, and the statistics are just showing themselves – the death rate is rising, the infection rate is rising, so maybe we need to protect ourselves and everyone who is coming. at that time, “said Ben Allcock, a 36-year-old babysitter.

“I feel this is the right decision that is too late,” he added. “I feel that if this decision or a variation on this decision had been made earlier, perhaps more lives would have been saved.”

Monica Richardson, a mother who stayed home, said she thought about 10% of people would not listen to the rules because of the “mixed message.”

The 36-year-old said the lockdown would affect everyone, but especially the older generation.

“We have a neighbor a few doors away from us and he has no children, no family, and he is dependent on his neighbors. I want to go and greet him, but with all these restrictions I prefer I will stay at home and do not put him or my family in danger. “

Hospitality worker Maria, who declined to give her last name for fear of losing her job, told CNN that the venue where she worked closed for two months during the spring lockdown, before introducing trends in hygiene, social and contact monitoring measures.

“I’m a little worried,” he said. “I do not know … how can we work again with these steps?

“Most of my colleagues are finished, they have been made redundant,” he added.

“It has not been proven that it will work and stop the spread of the virus – and the economy will go down and down.”

‘Too small, too late’

Others said they thought the government might need to go further.

“I think the lockdown is long overdue, I have high-risk relatives who have confidence in the rules, and I think the current policies do not protect them or move away. coming but I fear this is a case too small, it is too late, “said Jack Duncan, the 31-year-old co-founder of a travel start, and has nothing to do with Rebecca.

Commuters wearing masks at a bus stop near a poster showing Covid’s local alert level were Medium in London on Thursday, before it rose to high on Saturday.

He told CNN that he believes the policies are causing confusion on social media and would be “impossible to the police.”

“Many good people make mistakes that put life at risk, and a minority of more selfish people deliberately misinterpret these policies. Moreover, the scientific consensus seems to suggest national lockdown is very necessary, “said Duncan, from Wandsworth in south London.

Brigitte Cirilli, a 46-year-old from New Jersey who lives in Tower Hamlets in east London, believes she has a Covid-19 but did not get tested at the time. He told CNN that during a recent trip to the grocery store “everyone took off their masks or put masks on their chin.”

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“So because other people can’t wear their masks, or don’t follow the rules and regulations, I have to stay home.”

He said he believes a two-week national lockdown or mass test is needed. “Let’s just close everything and see where we are,” she said. “I don’t know how I can do it yet.”

Sam Badcock, a 23-year-old from west London who works in marketing, said he did not feel that the restrictions on Tier 2 had gone far enough.

“Many of them are very open to interpretation,” he said. “There is a heavy weight placed on the cost of losing business, and almost to the point where the cost of losing business is greater than the cost of lost lives, which is really a cut of mentality and strategy from my point of view. “

He said he felt “disappointed” with the government’s approach. “It’s more avoidable to feel unavoidable. We all know what needs to happen. We all know what works. We’ve seen it around the world.”

Londoner Jack Duncan, 31, said he believes the lockdown in the city is tighter

The rate of Covid-19 infections is rising rapidly across the UK, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said in a statement on Thursday, announcing that London and seven other regions will climb Tier 2 It said the measures were reviewed every 14 days.

DHSC says infection rates are rising sharply in London, with the number of cases doubling in the last 10 days. The seven-day average case rate is at 97 per 100,000 people and rises sharply.

The Office for National Statistics estimates that one in every 240 people in England has the virus in a week from September 25 to October 1, and the number of infections doubles every seven to 12 days.

UK government data showed 18,980 new cases and 138 deaths on Thursday, bringing the total to 673,622 and 43,293 respectively.

CNN Lauren Kent, Nada Bashir, Seb Shukla, Niamh Kennedy, Simon Cullen contributed to this report.

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