Great Britain

'This is not a full lockdown' Boris hits back at Kuenssberg's attack on Covid 'clampdown'

The BBC's Political Editor asked the Prime Minister why some people will be going under tougher restrictions than they were previously under after the national lockdown. During the Downing Street coronavirus press briefing, Boris Johnson insisted the new measures being introduced by the Government are different from a national lockdown. 

Ms Kuenssberg said: "Some people watching tonight might wonder what is going on.

"You have said this week that people will be able to travel all over the country at Christmas which of course will bring risks but now you are clamping down again.

"What was the point of the national lockdown in England over the last four weeks if people are moving into tougher restrictions than before?"

The Prime Minister replied: "It is very important for everybody to understand that what is happening from next week is not continuing the lockdown.

READ MORE: Christmas rules CONFIRMED: All four UK nations agree to ease COVID restrictions

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Boris Johnson was grilled by the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg (Image: BBC)

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The level of COVID19 coronavirus across the UK (Image: Express)

"Across all tiers shops will be open, hairdressers, personal services will be open, gyms, places of worship, this is a very different thing.

"What we have got to do is keep our eyes on the prize and remember that in just a few months we will have a vaccine."

During the Downing Street press briefing, Boris Johnson outlined the UK Government's latest mass testing plan in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The Prime Minister stated that regions will be initially placed into three tiers and explained how mass testing can rapidly reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Mr Johnson said: "While that data is beginning to improve the virus is still prevalent and the faster we drive it down the faster we can lift restrictions.

"That is exactly what these new tiers are designed to achieve.

"While the previous tiers slowed the spread of the virus they were never quite enough to cut the R rate down below 1 and keep it there so areas did not escape the level they were placed in.

"Our new approach is designed to reduce R below 1 opening a path for areas to move down the scale as soon as the situation improves.

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Coronavirus: England's three tier system (Image: Express)

"Crucially we now have the means to accelerate that moment of escape with rapid community testing allowing anyone carrying the disease including those without symptoms to isolate and therefore reducing the R.

"The truth is at least 1 in 3 people with Covid have no symptoms at all and may be spreading the disease without knowing they have got it.

"The only way to identify them and protect everyone is through mass testing.

He added: "Testing on this scale is untried but in due course, if it works where people test negative it may also be possible for families and communities to be released from certain restrictions even if their home areas stay in Tier 3."

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