PM urged to resist tighter restrictions as France and Germany announce fresh lockdowns

28 October 2020, 23:01 | Updated: 28 October 2020, 23:06

There are calls for the PM to resist another lockdown
There are calls for the PM to resist another lockdown. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Boris Johnson has been urged to resist calls for a second lockdown over Christmas, as Germany and France both headed into second lockdowns as the second wave of Covid-19 continues to sweep across Europe.

Speaking to LBC's Tom Swarbrick, Lord Jonathan Sumption said he fundamentally disagreed with there being a lockdown over Christmas, saying it should be down to families to decide if they want to take a risk.

The former UK Supreme Court justice said: "I do not believe that Christmas is a gift that ministers allow to our families. I think that it is a matter for the families themselves to decide in consultation with each other. We know what the risks are we have to take a balanced decision for ourselves about this.

"Do I think it will be observed? No I don't think it will be observed."

Read more: Growing pressure on PM to increase Covid restrictions as daily death toll rises

He said people would have a "variety of reasons" for not following rules over the festive period

"Those who decide not to comply will have done so because having thoughts about their grandparents, having thoughts about the mental health for those involved, they have decided that this is the right thing to do for them,"Lord Sumption added.

"There are a variety of answers that people may give to these questions, there isn't just one answer, but there is just one answer that ministers give to us, but we are all different and we are entitled to look at our own position and the position of those around us and decide what the best thing for us to do is."

His words come after Germany and France both announced they were heading into second lockdowns to cope with the ever-growing numbers of new coronavirus cases.

Read more: Switzerland added to UK travel corridor list

French President Emmanuel Macron said the country was being "overpowered" by the second wave, and said a new nationwide lockdown would be the only possible way to successfully fight Covid-19.

The government is scheduled to lay out the details of the new lockdown on Thursday, and the measures will be enforced from Friday.

France saw one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, with citizens expected to show papers detailing why they were leaving their homes.

It is expected these measures will be reimplemented, and people will only be allowed to leave their homes for work, medical appointments and essential exercise.

Schools however, will remain open.

French President Emmanuel Macron said a new nationwide lockdown would be the only possible way to successfully fight Covid-19
French President Emmanuel Macron said a new nationwide lockdown would be the only possible way to successfully fight Covid-19. Picture: PA

In France, more than half of the country's intensive care units are already occupied by Covid-19 patients.

France reported 288 new virus-related deaths in hospitals in 24 hours on Tuesday and 235 deaths in nursing homes over the previous four days. Both figures marked the biggest such rise since May.

"Nothing is more important than human life," Mr Macron, noting that France has one of the biggest coronavirus rates in Europe currently.

Angela Merkel also announced on Wednesday Germany's lockdown will come into effect on November 2 and will see bars and restaurants closing until 30 November.

Shops will be allowed to remain open on condition that there is only one customer per 10 square metres of space.

According to the federal government's proposal, all leisure facilities such as theatres, operas, cinemas, swimming pools and fitness studios, but also bars, clubs, discos and pubs will close.

But the "delivery and collection of takeaway meals for consumption at home" will remain open.

Also, schools, kindergartens will remain open too.

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