Lockdowns extended in UK, Australia, some states of US but others want to reopen

While some lockdowns are being relaxed, others are being extended around the world.

BBC: UK lockdown extended for ‘at least’ three weeks

Lockdown restrictions in the UK will continue for “at least” another three weeks as it tackles the coronavirus outbreak, Dominic Raab has said.

The foreign secretary told the daily No 10 briefing that a review had concluded relaxing the measures now would risk harming public health and the economy.

“We still don’t have the infection rate down as far as we need to,” he said.

It comes as the UK recorded another 861 coronavirus deaths in hospital, taking the total to 13,729.

Mr Raab, deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovers from the illness, said: “There is light at the end of the tunnel but we are now at both a delicate and a dangerous stage in this pandemic.

“If we rush to relax the measures that we have in place we would risk wasting all the sacrifices and all the progress that has been made.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said similar when warning about rushing relaxations of restrictions – we won’t find out until Monday if the lockdown here is being scaled back next Thursday.

SkyNews: Australia in lockdown for another four weeks: PM

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says there are “no plans” to change the current lockdown measures for at least another four weeks.

Delivering an update in Canberra on Thursday, Mr Morrison said restrictions would only be eased if Australia met three key conditions: increased testing, better contact tracing, and the ability to lock down localised areas in cases of outbreaks.

“We want to be very clear with Australians, baseline restrictions we have in place at the moment there are no plans to change those for the next four weeks,” he said.

Mr Morrison also clarified what he sees as the end date for the “six month” timeline his government has referred to the response to the pandemic.

Australia’s lockdown conditions are probably more similar to our planned Level 3 lockdown than our current Level 4.

In the US the partisan divide is a problem, with Democrat governors extending lockdowns while republicans want to scale back:

New York’s stay-home order will be extended until May 15, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

Cuomo, during his daily briefing in Albany, said extreme distancing measures that began on March 22 have helped slow the coronavirus infection rate, but he’s not ready to let up on the far-reaching restrictions.

Wisconsin schools will be closed for the rest of the school year and many businesses will stay shuttered until the end of May under action Gov. Tony Evers took Thursday to extend restrictions to contain the coronavirus in the state.

The move will keep hundreds of thousands of school children at home for nearly three months — some receiving no virtual instruction — and comes as key Republican lawmakers are calling for Evers to roll back restrictions, not extend them.

Gov. Tom Wolf has no plans to move forward with a broader reopening of businesses during the COVID-19 emergency.

His spokesman said he will veto the GOP-backed Senate Bill 613, which the General Assembly sent to his desk on Wednesday. The governor plans to continue his aggressive measures to stem the spread of the virus.

Following President Trump’s lead, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday created a task force to plan for the “resurgence and reopening of Florida” from the coronavirus shutdown.

The governor also notably distanced himself from Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees’ comments Monday that social distancing could last as long as a year or more until there was a vaccine.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer faces at least two federal lawsuits challenging her April 9 executive order to combat the coronavirus outbreak, including requirements that residents stay at home and most businesses close.

In complaints filed on Tuesday and Wednesday, several Michigan residents and one business accused the Democratic governor of violating their constitutional rights by imposing her “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order.

The plaintiffs in Wednesday’s lawsuit “reasonably fear that the draconian encroachments on their freedom set forth in this complaint will, unfortunately, become the ‘new norm,’” according to their complaint.

The governors for Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky have formed a partnership to work together on restarting the economies in their states, they said in a statement.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday warned against reopening the country prematurely, saying the public health threat posed by the deadly coronavirus is a greater evil than the current economic hardship facing businesses and workers nationwide.

The Speaker is calling for more widespread testing around the country, to gauge the regional prevalence of the deadly virus, before scaling back locally imposed prevention measures.

“I heard one of them say: ‘Well, people will die — or we’ll open up the economy and people will die — so that’s the lesser of two evils,'” Pelosi said.

The White House plans to release guidelines Thursday to inform states on how to relax coronavirus restrictions and reopen businesses.

President Trump announced the plans during a news conference Wednesday, claiming data shows that the United States has “passed the peak” of COVID-19 cases nationwide.

The decision on what individual states do, however, will fall to governors across the country.

“The battle continues but the data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new cases,” Trump said at a news conference in the White House Rose Garden.

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11 Comments

  1. David

     /  17th April 2020

    The UK are having a shocker, after 3 weeks of lockdown the new cases are still coming in at the same rate and their testing regime has only incrementally improved. Having one big inflexible healthcare behemoth full of patch protection and fiefdoms and completely immune to any sort of reform or criticism is not working out well, despite this they still worship the NHS confusing its frontline workers with the organisation.
    Whatever they are doing it isnt working.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  17th April 2020

      I thought the NHS , as far as the hospitals go , was hundreds of mostly independent clusters of hospitals, with their own CEO etc
      Where is it ‘one behemoth’ other than the name

      Reply
  2. David

     /  17th April 2020

    At least in Australia you can get a haircut and pop out and buy a new hammer, a pot of paint and a dropcloth.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  17th April 2020

      emigrate.

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  17th April 2020

        “emigrate.”

        How are you going to achieve that when you are not allowed out of your ‘home’? Perhaps you can get a Toyota Corolla, strap some drums to it and escape that way. That’s how the Cubans escaped from their socialist paradise.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  17th April 2020

          you’re lucky…you already have….haven’t you?

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  17th April 2020

          “That’s how the Cubans escaped from their socialist paradise.”
          Kiwis have been ‘escaping ‘ to Australia ever since their gold rush began and ours ended
          Are Cubans some how more special than those ‘escaping capitalist Mexico” …well yes the US policy was once they had feet on the sand Cubans could stay, didnt apply to mexicans escaping capitalism

          Reply
  3. Bolsonaro fires health minister, appoints oncologist

    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired his health minister on Thursday after butting heads over how to confront the new coronavirus…

    The two have clashed for weeks over the need for widespread social isolation in the country to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The populist leader argues the measures are unnecessary and economically harmful, insisting the outbreak is being blown out of proportion.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-brazil/bolsonaro-fires-health-minister-appoints-oncologist-source-idUSKBN21Y338

    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that he had appointed oncologist Nelson Teich as the country’s new health minister, shortly after firing his predecessor over disagreements on measures to fight coronavirus.

    Bolsonaro, who has criticized social distancing measures for hurting the country’s economy, said in a televized briefing that former minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta had never treated the question of employment as it should have been treated during the pandemic.

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-brazil-teich/brazils-bolsonaro-appoints-nelson-teich-as-health-minister-idUKKBN21Y38K

    Brazil’s trends aren’t looking great: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/brazil/

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  17th April 2020

      “The two have clashed for weeks over the need for widespread social isolation in the country to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The populist leader argues the measures are unnecessary and economically harmful, insisting the outbreak is being blown out of proportion.”

      Smart man.

      “Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that he had appointed oncologist Nelson Teich as the country’s new health minister, shortly after firing his predecessor over disagreements on measures to fight coronavirus.”

      Good leadership.

      Reply
  4. duperez

     /  17th April 2020

    The good citizens of Michigan have it sussed – get out on the streets and protest.

    Michigan with twice the population of New Zealand. Michigan with about 30,000 confirmed with coronavirus. Michigan with about 2,100 deaths. (NZ 1409 confirmed and 11 deaths)

    Trump will win more comfortably there next time round I guess.

    Reply
    • David

       /  17th April 2020

      The Governor who was touted as Bidens running mate has turned out to be a bit useless, she banned the buying of seeds and infant car seats as non essential. Dont think she was too popular before this either.

      Reply

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