Boris Johnson faces backlash over Covid rules after Nicola Sturgeon declares kids in Scotland WON’T fall under rule of 6


BORIS JOHNSON is facing a backlash over the new Covid rules after Nicola Sturgeon declared kids in Scotland WON’T fall under the rule of 6 – but they will in England.

Tory MPs have demanded the PM “save Christmas” or be labelled the grinch by excluding children from the draconian six person limit on social gatherings.

Nicola Sturgeon introduced the new restrictions this afternoon

Boris Johnson announced the new rules for England last night

Tory MP Steve Baker told HOAR: “Keeping these restrictions going into Christmas would be one of the most damaging things the Conservative party has ever done.

“It’s extremely difficult to see how this policy will last after the Scots’ announcement today.

“Boris must save Christmas – he’s not the grinch.”

Ms Sturgeon said it will be illegal to meet with more than six people at a time from Monday and the group can only be made up of two households.

But the First Minister made the rules different to those in England by allowing children under 12 to not be counted as part of the group.

Multiple studies have found kids are much less likely to catch the virus, but can still spread it.

Boris Johnson said last night it was “heart breaking” to have to introduce the restrictions on social gatherings, but was adamant it was the right thing to.

He said: “It breaks my heart to have to put these restrictions on families, parents and grandparents.

“Nobody wants in government to do it.”

Tory MPs bashed the PM for his approach.

Sir Graham Brady, Chair of the 1922 Committee, slammed Health Secretary Matt Hancock for “imposing the most profound restrictions on people’s personal liberty and family life.”

Tory MP Harriett Baldwin demanded to know if the new restrictions were so strict because the UK was aiming for “zero Covid”.

And MPs questioned whether there needed to be tighter rules when only some hotspots across the country were seeing increased cases

David Jones MP told MailOnline: “I can understand that the Government has to do something, because there is certainly an uptick.

“But it is not an uptick across the country as a whole. There are some parts of the country such as Devon, Dorset where there is very little virus activity at all.

“So it does seem to be very broad brush… I would have thought something more concentrated would be better.”

The latest estimates show the R number in Scotland – the average number of people infected by each person with the virus – could be as high as 1.5, but Ms Sturgeon still didn’t go as far as the PM in her new rules for Scotland.

She said: “I understand how hard this is, and for young people especially. It is not their fault. They are more likely to work in public facing jobs, take transport, live in shared households,” Ms Sturgeon said.

She also confirmed that planned reopenings of sports stadia and theatres for audience would not be able to go ahead, and was given a fresh date of October 5.

Previously, people could meet in groups of up to eight from three households indoors and 15 from five households outdoors.

There are exemptions for events including funerals, weddings and civil partnerships which are allowed up to 20 people.

And schools and universities will remain open and not effected by the change.

Coronavirus cases across the UK have soared over the last few days, and there were 161 fresh infections in Scotland in the last 24 hours.

The First Minister said the decision to cut social gathering numbers was “the only responsible decision we can reach”.

Offices which still have staff working from home, including call centres, will “definitely not take place” before October 1.

“For now, working from home will remain the default position,” she said.

More than 1.1 million people in Scotland have to follow even tough lockdown rules and bans on home visits after outbreaks of the virus.

People in Glasgow city, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire have all been told not to see each other in homes.

And East Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire were given the ban on home visits earlier this week.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said acting quickly now could “stem the tide of transmission” in the area.

No10 said today that the PM had taken the decision with a heavy heart.
A spokesperson said this lunchtime: “He acknowledged that this will be difficult for families and it’s not a decision that he wanted to take.

“But that it’s necessary in order for us to tackle the rise you have seen in infections.”