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Thursday, November 26, 2020

A Second Lockdown & The £2bn Dilemma

From the 28th of September, individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 or have been contacted by a test and trace service will be required by law to self-isolate for 14 days. Failure to comply with the new rules will result in fines of between £1000-£10,000, with repeat offenders facing possible prosecution.

However, a rapid increase in the number of daily cases has left many believing the government may go a step further and announce a second lockdown when Boris Johnson addresses the commons on Tuesday afternoon. In a televised speech, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty stated the UK could see “50,000 new cases per day and 200 deaths by November without crackdown”. According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), a second lockdown could cost London more than £2bn, in turn reversing the country’s economic recovery.

The think tank added that GDP could sink between 3-5% in the final three months of the year as a result of any new restrictions , but also went on to state a full national lockdown “might not be likely”. Johnson and members of his government themselves previously indicated a second national lockdown would be a last resort, but if cases continue to rise the Prime Minister may find himself with few alternatives.

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