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Boris Johnson has warned Brits that tougher coronavirus measures could be imposed in “the weeks ahead” amid speculation of a new fifth tier.
Speaking on Andrew Marr this morning, the Prime Minister said his “very tough” system is “probably about to get tougher”.
He said: “We are entirely reconciled to doing what it takes to get the virus down and that may involve tougher measures in the weeks ahead.”
Pressure has mounted on Johnson to plunge England into a new national lockdown amid spiralling coronavirus cases.
Yesterday another 479 people died with coronavirus in the UK, hitting an eight-month high as the new strain causes havoc.
Boris Johnson says 'schools are safe' as he orders kids back this week
And another 57,275 people tested positive, Public Health England said, in one of the UK’s biggest rises in new cases.
The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals is at record levels in many areas of England including London, the South West and the Midlands.
In some areas hospital admissions have risen above the levels seen during the first wave.
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Accused of moving too slowly to counteract the virus, Boris said this morning: “We are using the Tiering system, which is a very tough system and, alas, is probably about to get tougher.
“We’ll review it. We have the prospect of vaccines coming down the track, offering people life and hope. That should keep people going in what will be a very bumpy period right now”.
The PM declined to set out what kind of new, tighter measures could be introduced – but pointedly, he clarified that the phrase "Tier Five" was used by the show's presenter, Andrew Marr, rather than himself.
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It comes as Boris set himself a target of tens of millions of vaccinations over the next three months, in something of a climb down from original reports of 2 million a week.
BoJo said that the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, will be removing "absurd" red tape that is hindering an army of retired medics stepping up to assist the roll-out of the vital jabs.
He added: "We do hope that we'll be able to do tens of millions in the course of the next three months."
It comes after Liverpool City Council pleaded for a new, third lockdown in a desperate bid to stop coronavirus from running rampant.
Meanwhile, Boris ordered kids back to school as he insisted that learning environments "are safe", adding: "There is no doubt in my mind".
- Boris Johnson
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