British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered pubs in Liverpool to shut as part of a new strategy to tackle a surge in coronavirus cases, as staff at three field hospitals across the country were told to prepare for a wave of admissions.
The northwest English city is the first to be placed at “very high risk” under a new three-tiered system designed to bring order what has become a complex web of local restrictions.
Johnson, heavily criticised for his government’s response to the outbreak, said he did not want to impose a new nationwide lockdown.
But said he could not allow Covid-19 to “let rip” and risk the death toll — the highest in Europe at almost 43,000 — spiralling even higher.
“This is not how we want to live our lives,” the Conservative leader, who himself was hospitalised with coronavirus in April, told the House of Commons.