LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans for strict regional measures to combat COVID-19 after England’s lockdown ends Dec. 2, sparking a rebellion by members of his own party who say the move may do more harm than good.
Johnson’s office said late Saturday that the government plans to return to a three-tiered system of restrictions, with areas facing different measures depending on the severity of their outbreaks. Though it is likely that a much-criticized 10 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants will be altered, the tiers are likely to include tighter restrictions than when they were first used in October even as more communities are expected to be placed in the two highest virus alert categories.
Some of Johnson’s Conservative Party allies immediately demanded an impact analysis of the proposed restrictions so lawmakers can weigh the health benefits against harm to the economy, mental health and relationships.
Steve Baker, one of 70 lawmakers who have written to Johnson with their concerns, said they can’t support the approach unless the government can show the restrictions planned for after Dec. 2 will have an effect on decreasing COVID-19 transmission, “and will save more lives than they cost.”
Johnson’s Cabinet will met Sunday to work out details of the plan before the prime minister presents it to the House of Commons on today.