UK Defends New Virus Restrictions; Critics Say It’s Too Late

File photo (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

(AP) – Britain’s government defended its new three-tier system of COVID-19 restrictions as critics suggested it was too little, too late amid reports the government’s scientific advisers recommended tougher action three weeks ago.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled the new system Monday in a carefully orchestrated series of events that culminated with an address to the nation. The plan sets out progressively stricter measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 based on local infection rates.

The new system comes three weeks after the government’s last nationwide program, which banned gatherings of more than six people and required pubs and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. The government’s scientific advisers at that time recommended ministers go further.

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