There have been big changes announced across the Irish Sea as to how the Covid crisis will be handled. There will be new strict lockdown restrictions and the public will face steep fines. Justice Secretary Robert Buckland announced last week that, “Christmas is going to be different this year, perhaps very different, pubs, restaurants, gyms, and non-essential shops will have to close for four weeks from Thursday.”
Unlike the restrictions in spring, schools, colleges, and universities can stay open. Boris Johnson has said the lockdown will hopefully cease on 2nd December but the lockdown may still endure – at this moment it is just very unclear. There is expected to be another vote on the next procedures to tackle the virus before it ends in The House of Commons. The UK has recorded 563 coronavirus deaths yesterday (12th of November) – these numbers are stark.
Documents seen by the BBC suggest the UK is on course for a much higher death toll than during the first wave unless further restrictions are introduced. Scientists estimated that, by mid-October, between 43,000 and 74,000 people were being infected per day. Matt Hancock has unveiled that hospital admissions are doubling every eight days, in weeks deaths may rise.
A scheme called the furlough was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. The scheme in question will pay up to eighty per cent of a person’s wage up to £2,500 a month, the government is reviewing the policy in January. The furlough scheme was to end at the start of November and was then changed to the second of December, the new end date is the end of March. Mr Johnson would like for things to return to normal before Christmas if people stick to the new rules in place.
The public in London have had some negative feelings about the lockdown. More than a hundred anti-mask protesters were arrested in London on the first night of lockdown. People were wearing guy Fawkes masks in support of people marching through the streets.
We can only wait and see how this full-fledged lockdown will go over for the next couple of weeks. How will the government keep the people at bay and the economy afloat? Will we see arrest and fines occurring and people retaliating more violently? When will this virus cease? Can people once again live ordinary lives maybe weeks, months another year – no one has the answer.
Alex Martin and Sarah Jane O’Connor – TY Press