LONDON — British lawmakers have renewed the government’s sweeping powers to impose emergency restrictions to curb the coronavirus pandemic, although many legislators criticized the way Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative administration has used them.
Legislators are increasingly unhappy about the government’s handling of the pandemic, which went from a national lockdown in March to a patchwork of local measures of varying stringency.
Johnson says it’s too soon to say whether restrictions introduced in recent weeks were working. The government has barred people from meeting in groups of more than six and banned millions of residents in northern England from mixing with people outside their household.
New hospitalizations for COVID-19 and virus deaths in Britain are rising again. There were 7,108 new infections reported Wednesday and 71 virus-related deaths, the same number of deaths confirmed the day before.
Britain’s official virus death toll has passed 42,000 — the highest in Europe.