Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt faced fury yesterday after backing calls to plunge Britain into lockdown again.

Mr Hunt joined Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer in supporting a national ‘breaker’ in which the country would be asked to stay home for two or three weeks over a semester with pubs, shops, restaurants, gyms and hairdressers forced to close.

With hundreds of thousands of jobs already at risk due to tighter restrictions, critics have warned that such a move would be the hospitality industry’s “last nail in the coffin”.

Others warned that any further lockdown – as with the initial three-month shutdown, which was initially only supposed to last for three weeks – would last much longer, producing “ catastrophic ” repercussions.

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt (pictured) faced fury yesterday after backing calls to plunge Britain into lockdown again

Asked about the possibility of a circuit breaker, Mr Hunt told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: ‘I have always believed that it is better to do things quickly and decisively than to wait for the virus is growing, so I have a lot of sympathy for this. ‘

As business bodies and figures in Mr Hunt’s party reacted in dismay, some MPs interpreted it as the first step in a cynical plan to topple old rival Boris Johnson and position himself as a future candidate At the direction.

“Jeremy feels Boris is in a difficult position, and I think he’s holding up,” said a senior Conservative MP.

“ He lost the leadership election but he constantly waved around the edges. He does the same thing as Starmer – at game we go into a lockdown, in which case he’ll say, ‘Well, I told you.’

A fine of £ 360 for kissing

A Milan couple have been fined 400 euros (£ 360) for kissing on the street because removing their masks violated coronavirus restrictions.

After kissing on their way to the restaurant, the engaged couple said they were surrounded by four police officers.

According to local reports, the couple – a 40-year-old Italian and a Polish woman – had been engaged for two and a half years.

In Italy, there is no obligation for people who live together to wear a mask in public.

The fine was imposed on the couple after they were unable to prove to officers that they lived at the same address.

“ If Jeremy wants to make a comeback, here’s how to do it, ” another said, adding that if Mr Hunt was right about a lockdown it could see him succeeding Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

“He could go back to his old department, take the country via Covid, and then take the top post,” the MP said.

The prime minister said last week he would try to avoid a second nationwide shutdown “if possible” but “can’t rule anything out”.

Instead, he continued with a targeted battle plan of local restrictions with more than 28 million people now living under tougher measures. At midnight yesterday, Londoners were among those who were plunged into the Level 2 alert range which prohibits different households from meeting indoors.

Kate Nicholls, managing director of trade body UK Hospitality, told the Mail on Sunday that a full half-year lockdown would be ‘catastrophic’ and the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for many bars, hotels and restaurants.

She added: ‘They have effectively endured two winters this year with no income – a third would be unbearable.

“ One in five has not reopened and a second lock would be a final nail in the coffin.

“The October semester is now more important than Easter for stays and domestic tourism. The sector is already expected to lose half of its revenue this year and we know that tourism will be critical to our recovery next year.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, former leader of the Conservative Party, said: ‘The problem with national circuit breaker lockouts is that they last a lot longer than you might think. We were promised a three week lockdown in March and it ended up being a three month lockdown.

“ Businesses are teetering on the edge and if we do a full nationwide lockdown where you shut everything down, many businesses that just survived the last lockdown will be gone. It will have devastating effects on the economy and the health of people.

“At the very least, we have to give the changes already underway a chance to work. We can’t keep opening and locking.

“The devastation this time would be total. All of these politicians and scientists have completely abandoned economics. They think the economy is not important.

“My government colleagues speak as if we were suffering from the plague. The death rate is minimal at the moment.

As business bodies and figures in Mr Hunt's party reacted in dismay, some MPs interpreted it as the first step in a cynical plan to topple old rival Boris Johnson and position himself as a future candidate At the direction.

As business bodies and figures in Mr Hunt’s party reacted in dismay, some MPs interpreted it as the first step in a cynical plan to topple old rival Boris Johnson and position himself as a future candidate At the direction.

Mr Hunt’s intervention follows remarks from science adviser Sir John Bell, who said he sees’ very little way to overcome this without some kind of circuit breaker, as the numbers are actually quite impressive ”.

But Professor Paul Hunter, who advises the World Health Organization, said a two to three week lockdown would not be enough to bring the virus back under control.

Anything less than a second extended lockdown, lasting at least two months, would have a material impact on the evolution of the virus, he argued.

Professor Hunter said a ‘circuit breaker’ would delay the virus, but since there is a delay in reporting new infections in official statistics, ‘you wouldn’t really see a material chance in the direction of the ‘epidemic for two weeks’ after its introduction. in.

He said the ‘cruel calculation of infection’ – in which cases tend to increase two to three times faster than they fall – means that once a circuit breaker ends, the virus will reappear quickly.

As a result, he added, to keep viral levels low, a cutoff should be imposed every month until a vaccine becomes available or herd immunity is achieved.

Mr Hunt also called for an end to the ‘public war of words’ between Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester who resists tighter sidewalks, and Mr Johnson.

“ I think what’s more important now is that we stop this public war of words between local leaders and national leaders because in a pandemic the most important thing is a consistent message because you really have to comply. very, very important public health messages. on social distancing, ”he added.

Mr Johnson said the situation in Greater Manchester was ‘serious’ last Friday as he pressured Mr Burnham to agree to new rules, but political leaders in the region continue to resist pressure.

Welcome to London … once the beating heart of the UK economy

Under a blanket of gray clouds, the nearly deserted skyscrapers of London’s Canary Wharf financial district yesterday offered a distinctly bleak outlook.

In an almost unimaginable scene earlier this year, a vivid sign, in the photo on the left, warned that the local Covid alert level was ‘high’ and informed passers-by that it was now illegal to “ meet people socially anywhere inside ”.

Canary Wharf is home to the headquarters of banking and financial powers such as HSBC, Barclays and JP Morgan. But almost all of the 120,000 workers who once filled office floors and poured into local cafes and bars now work from home.

London’s nine million people entered tighter Level 2 restrictions after midnight yesterday, which ban people from separated households from mingling indoors, including in pubs and restaurants.

Crowds descended on the city center on Friday for a final drinking session before the new rules take effect. Police were on the lookout for ‘dangerous and reckless’ Covid violations as people left pubs after the 10 p.m. curfew.

While Londoners are still able to meet members of other households in groups of no more than six in outdoor gardens, the prospect is less likely to please as winter approaches.

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