For Johnson, the debate comes at an inopportune time: In view of the high number of cases, the government is doing everything it can to encourage people to follow the rules better.
Backed by the London chief of police
Since the “local environment” is not precisely defined, Johnson was backed by the London police chief Cressida Dick. The tour “wasn’t against the law – that much is clear,” said Dick in an interview with the BBC. Health Secretary Matt Hancock had previously stated that a long walk of eleven kilometers was fine. However, the government initially refused to comment on whether Johnson had ridden his bike from his home to the Olympic Park or was brought there by car.
In England and Wales, as many people died last year as last year in 1918, the year of the Spanish flu. Between January and December there were 608,002 deaths in the parts of the country, according to preliminary figures from the UK statistics agency. However, the numbers are difficult to compare over such long periods of time because the size and age structure of the population have changed significantly. If you compare the 2020 death toll for England and Wales with the average for the years 2015 to 2019, almost 76,000 more people died.
Post can hardly deliver in several regions
Meanwhile, the British Post is also struggling with the effects of the pandemic: It is currently barely able to deliver letters and parcels in 28 regions across the country. In these regions – 27 in England and one in Northern Ireland – there are too few staff available because many employees are sick or are in self-isolation, said the Royal Mail.
British economy under pressure
Because of the rapidly increasing number of infections and tough lockdown measures, the UK economy is facing its “darkest hour” from the point of view of central bank governor Andrew Bailey. The flare-up of the infection mean there will be difficult months, said the head of the Bank of England in an online speech for the Scottish Chamber of Commerce.
“There’s an old saying that the darkest hour is before dawn,” Bailey said. The economic recovery will then be within reach once the vaccinations are in place. However, Bailey did not look into his cards when he appeared, whether this would speak for a rate cut at the February 4 meeting.
The economy is currently in a very difficult phase and there is no doubt that this will probably delay development, said the central bank governor. More than 81,000 people who tested positive for the coronavirus have already died in the UK. In absolute terms, this is the fifth highest value worldwide. Many economists assume that the economy contracted in the final quarter of 2020 and will also contract in the first quarter of 2021.
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Corona Great Britain Boris Johnson due controversial bike tour pressure