Following a huge rise in coronavirus cases Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered the police to crackdown on people who flout the social distancing laws.
Johnson told his Cabinet that there is to be a switch from voluntary guidance to a strict and tougher enforcement of the coronavirus rules by the authorities.
The Standard was told by a senior government source that Johnson will provide authorities hiw full support.
The source said, “By acting quickly, we are trying to prevent what is happening in Spain and France. Belgium moved quickly and got on top of its second spike. These steps will allow us to keep schools open and avoid a second lockdown of the economy.”
Speaking to Sky News Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that lives are at a real risk and people will die if the government does not act.
He said, “As you can see in other countries, if you have a rise in the number of cases and you don’t act then that inexorably leads to more people in hospital and more people dying of coronavirus.”
Hancock told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “We’re also going to enforce more strictly the rules around hospitality, including for instance you need to give your contact details when you go to hospitality, which has so far been voluntary.
“Large swathes of the hospitality industry have followed it. Some have chosen not to, so we’re going to make that compulsory as well.”
Freshers’ week will be affected as the from Monday the government have warned that people will not be allowed to meet in groups larger than six.
The Health Secretary added, “Otherwise we know the spread of the disease is going to keep going up and up.
“We know that that leads to more people in hospital and more people dying.”
Hancock added on the BBC’s Today programme, “I really hope we can turn this round before Christmas. Three months is a long time in a pandemic and I very much hope this strong rule, together with the local action we’ve taken in places like Bolton … I very hope much therefore this can work to do that by Christmas.”