UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that signs of a "second wave" of the COVID-19 pandemic are emerging in Europe as he backed a decision to urge travellers returning home from Spain to quarantine for 14 days.
"What we have to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risks are starting to bubble up again. Let's be absolutely clear about what's happening in Europe, amongst some of our European friends, I'm afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic", Johnson said.
The prime minister earlier today announced the launch of a government scheme worth 2 billion pounds ($2.57 billion) to encourage the country’s citizens to cycle and walk more frequently.
The scheme aims to create thousands of miles of protected bike lanes, establish free bicycle training for all adults and children, and strengthen the country’s Highway Code to protect cyclists.
"From helping people get fit and healthy and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest health and environmental challenges that we face", Johnson said in a government press release.
Starting Tuesday, the first batch of government bike repair vouchers, each worth $64, will be distributed to citizens to encourage them to use active forms of transport.
The latest scheme follows on the heels of a new government programme announced on Monday to tackle obesity in the UK. The government has set out to ban commercials for foods high in sugar, fat, or salt content before 21:00 [20:00 GMT], and will look to restrict the types of food that can be included in “buy one get one free” offers.
Earlier in July, the UK government decided to provide an extra three billion pounds ($3.7 billion) to England’s National Health Service (NHS) to get ready for the winter months in which a second wave of COVID-19 might hit the country. The prime minister said that the COVID-19 pandemic might get stronger and more challenging in the winter months. In addition, the country will need more test kits as many people may show "COVID-like symptoms" when seasonal illnesses are prevalent, according to Johnson.
Since the start of the outbreak, the UK has confirmed about 300,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 45,700 related deaths.