‘Grit your teeth and pull together’ – but will Britons heed PM’s appeal?

Home UK ‘Grit your teeth and pull together’ – but will Britons heed PM’s appeal?
‘Grit your teeth and pull together’ – but will Britons heed PM’s appeal?

The prime minister has urged the public to stick to new coronavirus rules to avoid the potential of a new national lockdown – our correspondents give their analysis.

Thomas Moore, science and medical correspondent

Can you smell the coffee? This was a wake-up call for the nation.

It's not just cases of COVID-19 rising now. There are more hospital admissions, more patients needing intensive care and more deaths.

It's still nowhere near as bad as the peak of the first wave, but the trend is clearly causing concern in Downing Street.

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The maps show England's epidemic is playing out in a very different way second time around.

Back in the spring the virus was evenly spread across the country, but now it is focused in the North East, North West and Yorkshire. It is a striking difference.

Image: The darker colours show which areas are struggling the most with cases
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Image: COVID admissions are rising most steeply in northern England

There was a moment in the news briefing when the prime minister realised how those maps might be interpreted; that they might give licence to people in low-risk areas to relax about the rules on social interactions.

"This remains a national threat, we have to fight it together," he said.

There was some good news in all the charts.

Rates in young children are low and holding steady. Despite the hullabaloo over schools going back, it hasn't put children at increased risk. That is hugely reassuring for parents.

Kate McCann, political correspondent

The decision to call another press conference flanked by his two top scientific advisers suggests the prime minister wants people to take seriously the warnings of a second peak.

He had nothing new to announce today, but after a week of criticism about his handling of the pandemic Boris Johnson was determined to reiterate the importance of restrictions currently in place.

Boris Johnson
Image: Boris Johnson said a new national lockdown could not be ruled out Read More – Source [contf] [contfnew]

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