Two-week circuit breaker lockdown anticipated for UK ahead of new year 4 months ago

Two-week circuit breaker lockdown anticipated for UK ahead of new year

The UK Government is reportedly considering a two-week circuit breaker and a return to the 'rule-of-six'.

New Covid-19 restrictions could come into force in the UK from next week, according to reports

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It is understoood that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a return to 'step 2' restrictions, similar to those introduced in April 2021. 

New measures would see a ban on mixing households indoors and a reintroduction of “support bubbles” and the “rule-of-six”.

Domestic overnight stays would be permitted but only with members of your household or bubble. 

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In another knock for hospitality – pubs, bars and restaurants will be forced to close their indoor seating areas and provide table service for outdoor guests. 

Travel could face similar peril, with overseas holidays potentially banned and those travelling liable for a £5,000 fine. 

As with current measures enshrined under the UK's 'Plan B' approach, people would be expected to work from home where possible, education will remain open and communal worship will be permitted. 

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MPs were expected to receive a briefing at 2pm on Monday afternoon (December 20) but according to a WhatsApp message seen by PoliticsJOE, the Covid-19 briefing call was cancelled 15 minutes before it was due to start, citing “timing restraints”. 

The delay has led some journalists to speculate new measures will not be introduced before Christmas, with The Times’ Political Editor Steven Swinford suggesting a “likely scenario” would be a two-week circuit breaker, set to begin on Tuesday, 28 December.

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It is thought that New Year’s Eve could be thrown into jeopardy under new measures being considered.

On Sunday, Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, tweeted her disappointment in Boris Johnson's failure to announce new restrictions.

Writing on Twitter, Sturgeon said:

"As infections soar and businesses suffer, we still need much more urgency in action/support from UK Gov - so that devolved gov hands not tied."

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At the time of writing on Monday afternoon, the UK government is yet to announce official details of any upcoming press conferences or changes to Covid-19 guidance.