WATCH: Boris Johnson Says We Must ‘Reserve The Right To Go Further’ With Restrictions In Address To The Nation

22 September 2020, 20:23

Boris Johnson said he was 'deeply, spiritually reluctant to make any of these impositions, or infringe anyone’s freedom'.
Boris Johnson said he was 'deeply, spiritually reluctant to make any of these impositions, or infringe anyone’s freedom'. Picture: PA images

Boris Johnson has said we must ‘reserve the right to go further’ with coronavirus restrictions.

The Prime Minister made the comments while addressing the nation on Monday night.

He said: “I am deeply, spiritually reluctant to make any of these impositions, or infringe anyone’s freedom, but unless we take action the risk is that we will have to go for tougher measures later, when the deaths have already mounted and we have a huge caseload of infection such as we had in the spring.

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The Prime Minister said he believes the 'broad approach is shared across the whole UK'.
The Prime Minister said he believes the 'broad approach is shared across the whole UK'. Picture: PA images

“But if people don’t follow the rules we have set out, then we must reserve the right to go further. We must take action now because a stitch in time saves nine.”

The address comes hours after the Prime Minister laid out the new regulations the Government will impost to help stop the spread of the virus.

These include early closing for pubs, bars; table service only; closing businesses that are not covid secure; expanding the use of face coverings, and new fines for those that fail to comply.

He added: After discussion with colleagues in the Devolved Administrations, I believe this broad approach is shared across the whole UK. And to those who say we don’t need this stuff, and we should leave people to take their own risks, I say these risks are not our own.

“The tragic reality of having covid is that your mild cough can be someone else’s death knell. “And as for the suggestion that we should simply lock up the elderly and the vulnerable – with all the suffering that would entail – I must tell you that this is just not realistic, because if you let the virus rip through the rest of the population it would inevitably find its way through to the elderly as well, and in much greater numbers.

“That’s why we need to suppress the virus now, and as for that minority who may continue to flout the rules, we will enforce those rules with tougher penalties and fines of up to £10,000. We will put more police out on the streets and use the army to backfill if necessary.

“And of course I am deeply, spiritually reluctant to make any of these impositions, or infringe anyone’s freedom, but unless we take action the risk is that we will have to go for tougher measures later, when the deaths have already mounted and we have a huge caseload of infection such as we had in the spring.

“If we let this virus get out of control now, it would mean that our NHS had no space – once again – to deal with cancer patients and millions of other non-covid medical needs.

“And if we were forced into a new national lockdown, that would threaten not just jobs and livelihoods but the loving human contact on which we all depend.

“It would mean renewed loneliness and confinement for the elderly and vulnerable, and ultimately it would threaten once again the education of our children. We must do all we can to avoid going down that road again.

“But if people don’t follow the rules we have set out, then we must reserve the right to go further. We must take action now because a stitch in time saves nine; and this way we can keep people in work, we can keep our shops and our schools open, and we can keep our country moving forward while we work together to suppress the virus.”

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