The United Kingdom is witnessing a resurgence in cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, as infection rates began to rise in late August, topping averages recorded since early May – the point at which the first spike began to ease.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to introduce new coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions, including telling citizens to return to working from home if possible, in order to contain a likely second COVID-19 wave amid a significant resurgence of infection rates in the country, The Telegraph reported on Monday.
Set to be announced in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday evening, new measures will reportedly reinforce social distancing and mask-wearing orders in public places, with the prime minister warning that there may now be a repeat of the scenario surrounding the first coronavirus wave.
New restrictions would also see pubs closing not later than 10 pm, according to the newspaper.
A Downing Street spokesperson said that Johnson’s announcement would highlight “further ways we will confront the virus”.
“No one underestimates the challenges the new measures will pose to many individuals and businesses. 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,” the spokesperson said, quoted by The Telegraph.
The announcement comes soon after UK health officials warned that the country expects by mid-October to see 50,000 cases each day, along with “200-plus deaths per day” by November, unless further measures are introduced.
As of Monday, the UK had registered 4,368 new COVID-19 infections, pushing the country’s total infection tally to 398,625 as the death toll has risen by 11, to 41,788.