Boris Johnson ‘should apologise to Brits’ as restrictions ‘could last until Feb’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been told to apologise for his handling of the pandemic by the Labour leader.
The call comes amid warnings the severe restrictions could last until February, with normality unlikely before April.
Millions of people were forced under Tier 4 restrictions this week after Mr Johnson announced a U-turn regarding the social mixing rules over the holidays.
The move came after warnings from public health chiefs of a new Covid strain which is soaring out of control.
Those under the new tier were given just hours before restrictions kicked in, it was announced on Saturday afternoon and lockdown began at 00:01am on Sunday.
Labour leader Keir Starmer said the PM should apologise for “gross negligence” after failing to act earlier to curb the spread of the virus, reports The Mirror.
He said alarm bells had been “ringing for weeks” but the Tory leader – who said last week that it would be “inhuman” to cancel Christmas – had repeatedly failed to act.
“It is an act of gross negligence by a Prime Minister who, once again, has been caught behind the curve,” he said.
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“At the heart of the problem here is a Prime Minister who simply doesn’t want to be unpopular and therefore won’t take the tough decisions that are necessary until he is forced into them at the 11th hour.
“We can’t go on like that. I think that it is very important that the Prime Minister does apologise to people for his handling of this episode of the pandemic.”
Government advisor Dr Michael Tildesely, who sits on the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, warned the tough restrictions would continue until February.
“I think given the situation we’re in at the moment I would be looking at potentially well into February we’re going to have some level of severe restrictions,” he said.
But doctors’ leaders went further, warning it could be April before enough people had been vaccinated for anything like normal life to resume.
Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association, suggested it would take even longer to vaccinate enough of the population to lift restrictions.
“We are working flat out. We have been working seven days a week, 8am to 8pm,” he said.
“It will take, unfortunately, three to four months for enough of the population to be vaccinated.”
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