London-England is replacing the blockade with less stringent coronavirus restrictions after Parliament approved the new rules on Tuesday despite a significant revolt by lawmakers in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party.
The insurgency of lawmakers who want to go further in easing the constraints on public life underscored Mr Johnson’s growing dissatisfaction with his own MPs about dealing with the pandemic, exacerbated by fears that the edges could cause a lot of waste in the hospitality industry.
Squeezed into the competing needs of a loud faction of its legislators and more cautious scientific advisers, Mr Johnson has decided to maintain strict measures, including restrictions on a number of pubs and restaurants.
From Wednesday, there will be some relaxation due to the closure in all areas as all shops, gyms and hairdressers can be reopened. Religious services and weddings can be restarted, and a limited number of spectators are allowed for some outdoor sporting events.
But England is returning to a system in which coronavirus restrictions vary from place to place, dividing the country’s territories into three ‘levels’ based on an assessment of each coronavirus risk. This is similar to the framework in place at the beginning of the year, which did not prevent the second wave of the pandemic or could not prevent last month’s blockade.
So this time – and to the wrath of many Conservative legislators – almost the whole of England goes to the first two levels and imposes significant restrictions on the hospitality industry in areas where some 55 million people live. The governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland set their own rules for the coronavirus.
Much of England, home to around 23 million people, will reach the strictest level where pubs and restaurants close except for delivery.
In middle-class regions, such as London, pubs can only serve alcohol to consumers who order “substantial food” – a condition the government had difficulty explaining when asked which types of food were considered appropriate.
In addition to overthrowing ministers, the debate over such loopholes underscored the extent to which the state dictates the little things of everyday life, which makes liberal conservative lawmakers downright uneasy.
On Tuesday, parliamentary critics included several pillars of the Conservative organization, such as Graham Brady, who is chairman of an influential legislative group.
“If the government wants to take away the fundamental freedoms of the people we represent, it must demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are acting in a proportionate and absolutely necessary manner,” Mr Brady said before concluding that the government “is not a coercive case. . ”
His remarks followed Mr Johnson’s attempt to place critics, arguing that the vaccine was “on the horizon” with its appearance on the horizon, but added: “We can’t afford to rest, especially during the cold winter months.”
The result of Tuesday’s parliamentary vote, which Mr Johnson won by a ratio of 291 to 78, was never in doubt after his decision after the opposition Labor Party abstained.
Presenting the Take-or-Leave-Leave offer, Labor chief Keir Starmer told lawmakers not to vote, saying he didn’t want to stop the only restriction available, so he wouldn’t vote against them. He also said he did not want to approve measures that he considered insufficient and likely to fail. Mr Starmer, who has recently criticized the government’s response to the pandemic, has also called for additional financial support for those struggling with the economic downturn.
Surveys generally show that the public is in favor of tough measures to control the spread of the virus and prevent congestion in health services, and Mr Johnson’s government is hardly unique in the dilemmas it faces.
In Wales, after the resurgence of infections, alcohol will be banned in all pubs, starting on Friday, with the catering industry restricted by an 18-hour curfew.
Yet the scale of the Conservative uprising warned Mr Johnson, reaffirming the authority of a government whose parliamentary majority appears less solid only a year after winning the primary election.
More than 50 of the 364 Conservative MPs voted against the new measures on Tuesday – the biggest rebellion against Mr Johnson since the election. Last month, 34 conservative lawmakers voted against the blockade measures.
Many conservative lawmakers have demanded an assessment of the economic impact of the new restrictions, but were dissatisfied with a subsequent government document that they felt was largely a redrawing of materials already published.
In addition, those who object to the new rules on a libertarian basis have challenged a number of conservative legislators in their decisions to place the areas they represent in the third level of restrictions, with the strictest restrictions.
The next highest category, the second level, where pubs can reopen but only serve alcohol with a substantial meal, virtually closes non-food bars.
But those rules have also sparked a lively debate over whether pubs can offer drinks with some less sophisticated British ingredients, including a Scottish egg – a boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated with breadcrumbs and then deep-fried.
Asked about this, a minister, George Eustice, said on Monday that Scotch eggs were a major meal. Then on Tuesday, his cabinet colleague Michael Gove mentioned him as a beginner – not a main course – to contradict himself in just another interview, suggesting he had successfully passed the pub food test.
The pubs grabbed a loophole in the Sun newspaper, which predicted that many drinkers would order when the pubs finally open in the second-tier district on Wednesday.
– Ten jars of lager and a Scotch egg, please! read the banner.