Express & Star comment: Boris Johnson's hand has been forced

Under no circumstances would Boris Johnson have wanted to announce additional restrictions for the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Like any true Conservative, the Prime Minister is a firm believer in personal freedoms, and while in an ideal world he would want to avoid the imposition of any extra lockdown measures, his hand has been forced.

In attempting to balance the need to protect lives with allowing individual liberties in a democracy, a crunch point has been reached.

The fact is that the coronavirus rate more than quadrupled in parts of the Midlands between the last two weeks in August and the first two weeks of September.

Parts of northern England are seeing cases surge, while London is once again heading in the wrong direction.

While the death rate from Covid-19 remains low, hospital admissions are starting to rise.

With the stark warning from England's chief medical officer ringing in his ears, Mr Johnson has taken steps that Ministers hope will bring the virus under control.

There is no doubt that hard times lie ahead.

For the already under pressure hospitality industry, curfew measures will have come as a hammer blow.

And with office staff again being told to work from home, our struggling high streets will undoubtedly feel the pinch.

It remains to be seen whether these new measures will succeed in reducing the spread of the virus.

But while the situation is certainly not ideal, it is a relief that a potentially ruinous second national lockdown has been avoided – for the time being, at least.

There is a concern that in attempting to reopen the economy and give businesses a much-needed boost, a degree of complacency has set in.

The virus is very much alive in our communities and it would be scandalous for any government to ignore the warning signs.

In many respects we are now operating on hope. We desperately need cases to start to fall. It is the only way to avoid a second full-scale lockdown.

All we can do for now, is to follow the guidance and make sure we do all we can to curb the spread of this awful disease.

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