British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will ease restrictive measures to combat the pandemic at Christmas to facilitate family reunions, at a time when a £ 3 billion boost to healthcare is announced.
The easing of restrictions was confirmed by Downing Street, the official residence of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, EFE said.
Johnson is expected to detail his plan on Monday to reinstate a three-tier system of restrictions from December 2, the end of the containment measures enacted in England on November 5.
The new plan foresees a pause in some of the social limitations between 22 and 28 December, although this is pending an agreement for a similar timetable with the other countries of the United Kingdom, with Boris Johnson to agree with the autonomous governments Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to Sky News television, quoted by EFE.
The British Prime Minister, who remains in isolation after having been in contact with a deputy who tested positive for covid-19, will explain how “they will be able to see their loved ones at Christmas”, making it clear that “this will not be a normal festive season, ”said a spokesman for the executive.
Outside the Christmas period, restrictions in the regions most affected by the pandemic will be tougher than those that had been imposed in October in England.
“Everyone’s efforts during the current restrictions at the national level have helped to control the virus, slow its expansion and lower the pressure on the public health system,” said the government spokesman, adding, however, that the virus remains present and that not applying regional restrictions could lead to a new uncontrolled situation before vaccines and mass testing take effect.
In the meantime, British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced an additional £ 3bn (€ 3.36 billion) funding from the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) to help the public health service to overcome the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, warning of the “economic shock” that the country is going through.
According to a statement released on Saturday night, quoted by AFP, the finance minister will announce next week a loan of more than £ 3 billion a year to help the NHS fight the impact of the new coronavirus.
One third of the money will be used to recover from delays in exams and surgeries not related to covid-19.
According to the ministry, the number of people who had been waiting for treatment for over a year rose from 1,500 in February to 140,000 in September.
Hundreds of millions of pounds will be allocated to mental health to “finance new services for young people, catch up with adult care and speed up access to psychological support for conditions such as depression and anxiety,” the statement said.
Rishi Sunak is due to present next week a vast spending plan to recover national finances after the covid-19 crisis, including supplementary NHS financing and a £ 100 billion investment in infrastructure.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, published today, the British finance minister warned, however, that these large sums will have to be paid, so the country “cannot continue to spend at this level indefinitely”.