The British government is widely expected to propose new measures Monday to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, after daily new infections surpassed 17,000 Thursday.
Many of the new cases have been reported in cities across the north of England, amid government warnings that the situation there is “getting out of control.”
Mirroring what is being done in New Zealand and other countries, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly favoring a tiered and localized system for England, simplifying existing rules and allowing authorities to impose more restrictions when case numbers rise, according to Reuters.
“The point of moving to this tiered system is so that in those most highly affected areas, we have got measures in place to control the virus,” said British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, speaking to Sky News.
Details of the plans have not yet been confirmed, but Sky News reported that the highest alert level measures are not expected to be as extensive as the lockdown imposed in the spring. Parliament will be offered a vote on the plans, Reuters reported.
Across Europe, governments have been seeking to avoid repeating the nationwide shutdowns or lockdowns that were imposed earlier this year, amid the first wave of the virus. Those restrictions successfully curbed the spread of the virus, allowing Europeans to return to a degree of normality over the summer, but business groups fear that renewed lockdowns would push numerous businesses into bankruptcy.