TIGHTER Covid restrictions are being considered by ministers – following concerns that the lockdown isn’t being followed as strictly as it should be.
A ban on exercising with one person outside of your household and wearing face coverings in offices are among the rules which could be reviewed as infections continue to spiral.
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Government ministers are considering tightening the lockdown restrictions, according to sourcesCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The Government fear that people have become too lax and restrictions may need to move more closely in line with the first lockdown in March.
A source told the Telegraph that the rule allowing two people to mix during exercise is “being used as an excuse for people to go for a coffee in the park with their friend,” adding “It may be we tighten up on things like that.”
Boris Johnson held a meeting with Cabinet this evening – discussing whether the current lockdown rules are working at a suitable rate.
This comes after parks and beachfronts across the country were filled to the brim over the weekend as people took advantage of their daily exercise outdoors.
Hyde Park in London was heaving with families on their daily walks, while Covid marshals patrolled along Brighton’s seafront.
People wrapped up in hats and scarves, braving the winter weather to have their Sunday stroll on the first weekend of the new lockdown.
Expanding the rules on facemasks is also being discussed – meaning that it may be compulsory wear them in some outdoor settings such as supermarket queues and inside workplaces.
A Downing Street source insisted the focus was on enforcing the current regime.
But they also want to “making sure people aren’t using their own creativeness to interpret the rules how they want to”.
Scientists have already warned that the current measures do not go far enough to stop cases exploding and are instead calling for a “total clampdown”.
They believe nurseries should be closed as well as places of worship with it made compulsory to wear face masks in public.
TIGHTER LOCKDOWN RULES
Independent Sage member Anthony Costello, a professor of global health at UCL and a former WHO director, said: “We are in a national crisis with a pandemic out of control.
“We should have no nurseries open, no synagogues, no churches, no mosques. We should have compulsory masks, two-metre distancing.
“We have to take this really seriously – that’s what Asian states did.
“The longer we allow it to go on transmitting, the quicker we are going to get a resistant virus to a vaccine, then we are in real doo-doo.”
And Sir Keir Starmer today said nurseries “probably should be closed”.
The Labour leader told the BBC: “I think there is a case for looking at nursery schools, we’re talking to the scientists about that.
“I think people are surprised that primary schools were closed but nurseries aren’t.”
This comes after cops warned that they would be handing out more fines during the new lockdown – to make sure Brits comply with the rules.
Under the measures, rule breakers will be hit with a £200 fine for a first offence which will then double to £400 for a second.
The penalties could continue to double to as much as £6,400 if Brits continue to ignore life-saving restrictions.
Covid cases today jumped by more than 50,000 for the 13th day in a row as deaths rose by 563 – pushing the total number of victims to more than 81,000.
There are now 3,072,349 people infected with the disease in the UK after 54,950 tested positive.
Deaths have continued to rise with the latest toll pushing the total number to 81,431.
Today’s figure is the third-highest Sunday rise in deaths and there is a usually a lag in reporting at the weekend.
People out and about in a busy Greenwich Park, London
Members of the public enjoying a stroll in a busy Richmond Park in south-west London