Anger and confusion from the public over new coronavirus crackdown

‘Boris Johnson just cancelled my birthday party’: Weary British public call Boris Johnson’s new coronavirus restrictions  ‘Lockdown 2’ as meetings of more than six people are banned

  • Ban on social gatherings of more than six people comes into force on Monday
  • PM warns recent surge in Covid cases must not be allowed to get out of control
  • Twitter users slam Mr Johnson for forcing cancellation of parties and events
  • Others tried to see the funny side by posting memes depicting the new rules 

Weary Brits have taken to social media to slam Boris Johnson after his new coronavirus crackdown was announced last night. 

The Prime Minister revealed it will be illegal from Monday to assemble in groups of seven or more anywhere in England, whether indoors or out, but for a few exceptions. 

The ‘rule of six’ is a dramatic reduction on the limit of 30 put in place on July 4 and represents the first reversal of the easing of national lockdown. 

Only schools, workplaces and a limited number of other locations will be exempt from the ban, which will see rule breakers fined £100, rising to £3,200 if they are repeat offenders.

The plans sparked frustration on Twitter, as users expressed their woe at having to cancel various plans over the coming weeks. 

Others tried to see the funny side, however, as they posted memes suggesting how the rule could be enforced and potential reactions of friendship groups’ seventh member, who will have to miss out on activities from next week.

Others tried to see the funny side, however, as they posted memes suggesting potential reactions of friendship groups’ seventh member

Another meme featuring a clip of the Prime Minister chasing down a car suggested how the new rules could be enforced

Another meme compared Boris Johnson to boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, talking about his reaction to a backlash

One frustrated tweeter wrote: ‘Boris Johnson cancelled my birthday party, how’s your Tuesday?’

Another said: ‘I give up with this world. Is Boris forgetting Monday is my 18th birthday? My life is a joke, I’ve been waiting for this day far too long’

A third added: ‘Just when I started to think towards a 25th birthday party…thanks Boris lol’

NEW LOCKDOWN RULES FOR ENGLAND FROM MONDAY 

  • Max social gatherings SIX PEOPLE
  • Applies indoors and outdoors
  • Applies in private homes
  • Applies in pubs and restaurants
  • Does NOT apply to schools or workplaces
  • Does NOT apply to weddings, funerals, team sport
  • Does NOT apply if household bubbles are bigger than six people
  • Police will be encouraged to break up larger groups and issue £100 fines, which will then double on each repeat offence up to £3,200

One wrote: ‘Boris Johnson cancelled my birthday party, how’s your Tuesday?’

Another said: ‘I give up with this world. Is Boris forgetting Monday is my 18th birthday? My life is a joke, I’ve been waiting for this day far too long.’

A third added: ‘Just when I started to think towards a 25th birthday party…thanks Boris.’

Many also questioned why such strict rules were being enforced so soon after Brits have been urged to return to offices and encouraged to visits pubs and restaurants during last month’s successful Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Some particularly pessimistic members of the public feared the rules would last well into the winter, threatening to derail traditional festivities.

‘Gonna start calling Boris Johnson the grinch cos he’s fully just stolen my Christmas,’ one wrote.

Another added: ‘Boris better sort this mess out by Christmas! There’s no way I’m missing mum’s Christmas dinner!’

Wedding anniversary parties were also highlighted as events that would have to be missed as a result of the new rules. 

As others began speculating over whether it signalled the beginning of plans for another full lockdown, some joked whether they should reinstall Houseparty, the popular video chat app which became hugely popular at the peak of the coronavirus crisis.   

Ministers were shocked on Sunday when virus cases doubled to almost 3,000 – the highest figure since May. 

They have used local lockdowns to control flare-ups and in Bolton the rules were tightened again yesterday, with a 10pm curfew on hospitality venues and a ban on dining out.

Downing Street said the surge appeared to be driven by ‘young people, often in affluent areas’. 

The PM’s spokesman said similar outbreaks among the young in the United States and Europe had spread to older people a few weeks later, with deadly effect. He added: ‘We need to ensure that doesn’t happen here.’

The clampdown will dismay some Tory MPs who are urging the Government to press ahead with the reopening of society to avoid economic meltdown. But a Government source last night insisted the rule of six was needed to head off the danger of a wider lockdown.

Mr Johnson will underline the message at a press conference this afternoon, where he will be flanked by Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance. 

In a sober briefing to the Cabinet yesterday, the two scientists warned ministers the R-rate had risen above one, meaning the virus was spreading exponentially again. 

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