LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday he would impose tougher restrictions on England shortly to contain a rapidly escalating coronavirus outbreak and indicated that secondary schools may not reopen this month.
Cases of COVID-19 have risen sharply in Britain in recent weeks, fuelled by a new and more transmissible variant of the virus. On Sunday there were nearly 55,000 new cases and in total more than 75,000 people in the country have died with COVID-19 during the pandemic – the second highest toll in Europe.
Visiting a hospital to see the first people receive the vaccine made by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, Johnson said the country faced “tough, tough” weeks to come.
“If you look at the numbers, there’s no question that we’re going to have to take tougher measures and we’ll be announcing those in due course,” Johnson said. “We’ve got the virus really surging.”