England’s four-week national lockdown could be extended beyond December 2 if coronavirus infection rates do not significantly fall, a Michael Gove has admitted as former party leader Iain Duncan Smith laid into the government’s decision in a national newspaper this morning.
Michael Gove said he believed the restrictions announced by Boris Johnson would bring down the R value, but warned that people may have to stay at home for longer if not.
Pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential retail will close from Thursday for four weeks across England, with furlough payments at 80% extended for the duration of the new measures.
People will be allowed to exercise and socialise in public spaces outside with their household or one other person, but not indoors or in private gardens, and will be able to travel to work if they cannot work from home.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph ex Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan-Smith accused the PM of ‘giving in to the scientific advisers.’ He said that Sage had ‘pressurised the government into taking the decision to bring in a month long lockdown. As its members were ‘public lecturing’ the government
Duncan-Smith urged the the PM not to continue ‘encouraging businesses to reopen only to force them to lock down again.
On social media there was some confused reactions
Ben Butland Tweeted: “Iain Duncan Smith has “accused” the government of “giving in to the science”.
“I thought Government policy was to follow the science?”
Another user was even more outraged. He Tweeted: “Iain Duncan Smith has “accused” the government of “giving in to the science”. Giving in. Actually Giving in to facts. He said “giving in” Jesus wept.”
Another Tweeted: “Iain Duncan Smith doesn’t wear sun tan lotion because he refuses to give in to the science.”
Who can forget this?
Iain Duncan-Smith also Tweeted: “Sage believes its advice to be more like commandments written on stone.”
He Tweeted again: “The PM’s announcement of #2ndLockdown is a body blow to the British people. Just as the economy was picking up, even giving cause for optimism, we’re now to impersonate the Grand Old Duke of York, giving in to the scientific advisers & marching England back into another lockdown.”