British govt planning strict lockdown in northern UK, London: Report

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LONDON: The British government is planning to enforce a total social lockdown across a majority of northern Britain and potentially London to combat a second wave of Covid-19, The Times reported late on Sunday.

Under the new lockdown measures being considered, all pubs, restaurants and bars would be ordered to shut for two weeks initially, the report said.

The report added that households would also be banned indefinitely from meeting each other in any indoor location where they were not already under the order.

Britain had last week imposed new measures that required people to work from home where possible and had ordered restaurants and bars to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of Covid-19, with new restrictions lasting probably six months.

Schools and shops will be allowed to remain open, along with factories and offices at which staff could not work from home, The Times added, citing a senior government source.

Junior Health Minister Helen Whately confirmed that the British government is mulling tougher restrictions in England, possibly outlawing more inter-household socialising.

Asked about The Times report, Ms Whately said the country was at a really serious point and so Covid-19 had to be brought under control.

She did not give a direct answer on the report that pubs would be closed. But she said pictures from the weekend - after pubs were ordered to close early - which showed crowds of young revellers outside pubs were "worrying".

"We have to break these chains of transmission," she said. - REUTERS