PM says virus 'contained not eradicated' as he sets out need for tiers

Boris Johnson said the goal of introducing the tiered system across England is to control the virus.

The prime minister spoke at the start of a debate in which MPs will vote on whether they want to introduce the new tiered system in England tomorrow.

Mr. Johnson told the House of Commons, “This is not another lockdown. Nor is this the extension of existing measures in England.

“The levels I propose would mean that starting tomorrow everyone in England, including those in level 3, is free to leave their home for any reason.

“And when they do, they’ll see the shops open for Christmas, the hairdressers open, the nail bars open, gyms, recreation centers, swimming pools open.”

He told the House of Commons: “ The national measures now ending in England soon have eased the burden on the NHS and started to reverse the advance of the virus – today the R is back below 1 and the ONS survey shows that signs of the infection rate flattens off.

Imperial College London has found that the number of people with Covid in England has fallen by a third since November 2.

“But while the virus has been kept under control, it has not been eradicated.”

Mr. Johnson said people “cannot afford to relax” until a vaccine is legally approved.

The Prime Minister opened the debate on the government’s coronavirus system and told MPs: “We have to be realistic and we have to accept that this vaccine is not available yet, there is no vaccine yet.

“And while all the signs are promising and almost every scientist I’ve spoken to, agrees that the breakthrough is sure to come, but we don’t have one that has gotten regulatory approval yet.

“And we’re not quite sure when that moment will come. And until then, we can’t afford to relax, especially during the cold winter months. “

Former Labor Secretary John Spellar said, “(Mr Johnson) spoke about the eradication of the virus. Only one virus in history has been eradicated. Containment may be the only option open to us. “

Mr Johnson replied, “(Mr Spellar) is of course absolutely right and it is curtailment that is the aim of the tiered settlement that the government is announcing, which I hope the banks will support each other tonight, despite what I understand decides to abstain, which seems extraordinary to me. “

He added, “We cannot just allow the current restrictions to lapse for the reason he gives, without any replacement.” #

Mr. Johnson added that the virus “has not been eradicated”.

Boris Johnson said there is still an “imperative” for regional levels.

He told MPs, “With the spread of the epidemic varying across the country, there remains a compelling argument for regional levels in England and even an imperative for regional levels.”

On the on-trade front, Boris Johnson pulled out a list of previously announced support points before telling MPs: “Today we go on with a one-off payment of £ 1,000 in December to wet pubs – those pubs that don’t serve food. .

“Recognize how hard they have been hit by this virus in what is typically their busiest month.”

Mr. Johnson said, “I am not looking for indefinite measures this afternoon. On the contrary, this regulation comes with a sunset clause… at the end of February 2, and at that point… we will have enough data to judge our position after Christmas.

“And while I think these kinds of restrictions will be needed until spring, they can only be extended after February 2 if this Parliament votes for them.”

He added: “We will review the allocation of levels every 14 days starting December 16 … (MPs) have it in their power, in our power to bring down our territories by throwing their full weight,” throwing our full weight as leaders in our communities, behind testing the community and taking the opportunity to encourage as many people as possible to participate. ”