Boris Johnson warns of stricter Covid restrictions in England
As the possibility for tougher coronaviruslockdown restrictions grows with rising infection rates across the UK, Boris Johnson is facing backlash after he was spotted cycling in a park seven miles form Downing Street over the weekend.
It comes after two women were handed £200 fines for driving five miles to a beauty spot near their homes in Derbyshire to go for a walk. Government guidance for England states that people may leave their homes to exercise once a day, but discourages them from travelling outside your local area to do so.
Meanwhile, supermarkets are cracking down on customers who refuse to wear a face mask and ignoring social distancing rules while shopping for essentials amid deep concerns from food retail workers over their own safety.
Morrisons said on Monday that customers who refuse to comply with mask-wearing guidance without a medical exemption will be asked to leave the store, and Sainsburys confirmed it will post trained security guards at entrances to challenge customers not wearing a mask or shopping in groups.
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All supermarkets should follow Morrisons action, says policing minister
Kit Malthouse, the policing minister, has said that all supermarkets should follow Morrisons tougher action in enforcing the wearing of masks in stores.
Asked why he thought supermarkets have not done it so far, Mr Malthouse told Times Radio: I think that, understandably, following the November lockdown there was an element of release and therefore the person at the door, the sanitation station, the traffic light system, the queues outside obviously receded a bit.
What we hope now, and I know all of them will, that they’ll see their responsibility and start to put those things back in place.
When asked whether police should intervene, he said some officers have issued fines in retail settings, adding: What we hope is the vast majority of people, or everybody, will be encouraged to do so by the shop owner.
Kate Ng12 January 2021 08:15
Supermarkets should ban non-mask wearers from stores, says Matt Hancock
The health secretary has said that supermarkets should impose a ban on shoppers who refuse to wear face coverings, and praised Morrisons for taking strong action against such customers.
Matt Hancock said it was the right approach as the coronavirus crisis worsens. Sainsburys has also said it will post trained security guards at entrances to challenge any customers not wearing a mask or shopping in groups.
Our Deputy Political Editor Rob Merrick has the details:
Health secretary urges stores to act, after ministers refused to change the law to outlaw shopping without a covering
Kate Ng12 January 2021 08:10
Boris Johnson under fire after being spotted cycling seven miles from Downing St
The prime minister is facing heat after he was spotted cycling in a park seven miles from Downing Street this weekend.
Boris Johnsons ride sparked anger on social media, amid confusion over government guidance which says people should not travel outside your local area for their exercise.
Our Political Editor Andrew Woodcock reports:
Trip sends Do as I say, not as I do message, says Labour MP
Kate Ng12 January 2021 08:07
Good morning, and welcome to The Independents liveblog following the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic.
Kate Ng12 January 2021 07:58

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