U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to unveil new coronavirus measures on Monday to fight the pandemic in the country.
Johnson plans to announce new COVID-19 protocols that will further involve local leaders, particularly from northern England which has been impacted by a recent increase in cases, Reuters reported.
The U.K. government plans to unveil a tier system to make coronavirus restrictions easier to understand after some in Johnson’s Conservative party have alleged the confusing messaging has led to the rise in cases.
The prime minister is hesitant to call for another national lockdown as the U.K. economy is still attempting to recover from the spring lockdown. The boost in cases leaves Johnson to balance between controlling the surge and limiting the economic effects of any restrictions.
England’s deputy chief medical official said the U.K. is at a “tipping point,” and officials need to take action now to prevent a rising death toll, according to Reuters.
Britain’s housing minister Robert Jenrick declined to detail Johnson’s expected announcement to Sky News beyond saying it will focus on local areas where “the virus is very strong.” He said the announcement will bring local leaders more involved with contract tracing and will release new guidance about traveling.
Steve Rotheram, the mayor of Liverpool, said Sunday that the city is expected to fall into the tier with the strictest restrictions, which Sky News reported could mean closing bars, gyms, casinos and bookmakers. But the mayor pledged any announcement would have to involve money for the businesses being shut down.
The Labour party, which opposes the Conservative party, is advocating for more funding for businesses if they are forced to shut down.
The U.K. has documented 606,446 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 42,915 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to data from John's Hopkins University.