Johnson tightens COVID-19 rules as UK hits ‘perilous turning point’ Sep 23, 2020 0 270 12345 DPALondonPrime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday announced tighter social distancing rules after a surge in coronavirus infections across Britain this month.“We have reached a perilous turning point,” Johnson told parliament, announcing measures that he said were designed to save lives, protect the National Health Service and limit economic damage.Johnson said the new rules in England, including limiting opening hours for pubs and restaurants and encouraging people to work from home, should last for up to six months.“This is by no means a return to the full lockdown of March,” he said, with no closures of schools or businesses.“We are taking decisive and appropriate steps to balance saving lives with protecting jobs and livelihoods.” Johnson said he had phoned the leaders of devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who would be “taking similar steps.” Opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer said new measures were necessary but had not been “inevitable.” Starmer highlighted the govenment’s lack of testing in the early months of the pandemic and its failure to develop an effective testing system since then. “We warned the prime minister months ago that testing needed to be fixed by the autumn,” he told parliament.“But the government didn’t listen.” Starmer said British people were worried the government “doesn’t have a strategy,” pointing to frequent changes in rules and advice.“This is a time of national crisis, but we need clear leadership,” he said, after claiming earlier Tuesday that Johnson was “just not up to the job.” “With one of the highest death rates in the world, and on the threshold of one of the deepest recessions anywhere, I’m afraid there is no doubt: This government’s incompetence is holding Britain back,” Starner said in a speech to Labour members.“They couldn’t get kids back into school in June ... Their failure to protect care homes is a national scandal,” he said. “They still can’t organise a testing regime that’s even serviceable, let alone ‘world-beating.’” Earlier Tuesday, government health adviser Colin Semple told the BBC that Britain was on track for a “worst-case scenario” that could involve tens of thousands more deaths over the winter.The broadcaster quoted a report leaked at the end of last month from the government’s scientific advisory committee that suggested a “reasonable worst-case scenario” of 85,000 coronavirus-linked deaths this winter.It said Semple, a professor of child health and outbreak medicine at Liverpool University, spoke in a personal capacity.The government’s chief scientific advisor, Patrick Vallance, warned on Monday that Britain could face up to 50,000 new coronavirus infections daily by next month and 200 deaths per day by mid-November without tougher measures to halt the spread of infections. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Turkey, Greece agree to talks on Mediterranean tensions Sep 23, 2020 0 643 Trump blasts China over COVID-19 as UN warns against ‘Cold War’ Sep 23, 2020 0 294 Spain calls on Madrid residents to restrict movements due to virus Sep 23, 2020 0 646 Putin calls for space peace treaty, offers COVID-19 vaccine to UN Moscow Speaking to the United Nations via video link, Russian President Vladimir Putin calls for an international treaty to prohibit weapons in space and offers Russia’s coronavirus vaccine to UN employees for free. .. Trump ‘spreading political virus’ at UN, says Chinese envoy NEW YORK: China on Tuesday accused Donald Trump of spreading a “political virus” at the United Nations after the US leader delivered a harsh attack on Beijing over the COVID-19 pandemic. “When the international .. Trump to announce crucial Supreme Court pick on Saturday Washington President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he will announce his pick on Saturday for the crucial Supreme Court seat left open by the death of justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as Republicans firmed up their majority to .. US passes 200,000 coronavirus deaths AFP Washington The United States registered its 200,000th death from the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, the latest grim milestone for the country just weeks before voters decide if President Donald Trump will stay in ..