Boris Johnson says COVID-19 lockdowns ‘probably going to get tougher’

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday that COVID-19 lockdown measures there are “probably going to get tougher” since the country needs to be “realistic” about the alarming spread of a new, more contagious strain of coronavirus.

Johnson said that there are “obviously a range of tougher measures that we would have to consider” as each region remains under a different tier of lockdown.

“What we are doing now is using the tiering system, which is a very tough system… and, alas, probably about to get tougher to keep things under control,” Johnson told the BBC’s “The Andrew Marr Show.”

Most of the country is currently at the highest Tier 4 level, which requires the closure of nonessential stores and places like gyms and recreation centers.

Johnson said he wouldn’t “speculate” about what new rules might be enforced to stop the spread of the virus, but suggested that curfews and closing schools are on the table for areas with worsening outbreaks.

“It’s not something we necessarily want to do,” Johnson said of the potential school closures.

But Johnson said there’s likely to be a “tough period ahead” as a new strain of the virus continues to spread rapidly throughout the nation.

“We’ve got to be realistic about the pace of which the new variant is spreading,” Johnson told the news show.

“We’ve got to be realistic about the impact it’s having on the [United Kingdom National Health Service]. And we’ve got to be humbled in the face of this virus.”

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