İrem UZUN -TDO- Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced new restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday. Johnson said the new restrictions, set to apply for six months, are necessary to help stop the alarming spread of the virus, but said the UK was not entering a second lockdown.
Speaking in the House of Common, the prime minister said "We always knew that while we might have driven the virus into retreat, the prospect of a second wave was real. I'm sorry to say that, as in Spain and France and many other countries, we've reached a perilous turning point". Johnson said the new rules were "carefully judged" to achieve the maximum reduction in the R number, which measures how quickly the virus is spreading, while causing "the minimum damage to lives and livelihoods". He also added that this was by no means a return to the full lockdown of March, with no general instructions to stay at home. Businesses, schools, colleges and universities will remain open.
Under new restrictions, people will be asked to work from home wherever possible and from Thursday, all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table service only and close at 10pm. Johnson also announced that face masks will be made mandatory for staff in the hospitality and retail sectors, and for passengers in taxis. Masks are already required on public transport, and for customers in shops. Moreover, the masks mandate will become law, not just guidance.