Wednesday, February 21

PM defends regional bans



Boris Johnson is facing mounting pressure to impose a half-term “circuit-breaker”, with scientific advisers stressing that a two-week lockdown could save thousands of lives by the end of the year.

Sage members have reportedly calculated that more than 7,000 lives could be be saved if schools are closed and people are ordered to stay at home for a fortnight from October 24.

Their conclusions are to be published in a paper today, after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called for a short and sudden lockdown, warning that drastic short-term measures were needed to prevent a “sleepwalk into a long and bleak winter”.

It comes as the Government’s new three-tier coronavirus system comes into force in England, with London and other areas set to move into higher risk categories “within days” as Covid-19 cases continue to surge across the country.