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BBC Newsnight: Coronavirus: Is the three-tier Covid-19 system enough to tackle England’s rising infection rate?


October 13,, 2020

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has described the new Covid-19 three-level alert system for England as a “balanced package”, saying he doesn’t want a national lockdown. But has he got the balance right? UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK’s increasing number of coronavirus cases is “flashing at us like dashboard warnings in a passenger jet”. The Liverpool region will be on a “very high” Covid alert level, the highest of a new three-tier system. England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said he was not confident the measures “would be enough to get on top of” the virus. And, as minutes from the government’s scientific advisory group, Sage, show, recommendations made to ministers on 21 September included an immediate circuit breaker – or short lockdown – which was seen as the most effective way to suppress the virus. However the prime minister ruled out the “extreme route” of a national lockdown “right now”. So has Boris Johnson got the balance right with these new measures? Newsnight’s Political Editor Nick Watt and Health Correspondent Deborah Cohen report. Emily Maitlis is joined by Labour MP Rushanara Ali, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, Councillor Kay Cutts and Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery.

Newsnight is the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.

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