UK PM Boris Johnson
UK PM Boris Johnson
PIC: AFP

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday stood his ground in the face of mounting pressure for a temporary complete national lockdown to act as a "circuit breaker" for the continued rise in coronavirus infections, even as the new three-tier system Covid-19 restrictions came into force across England.

While the new medium, high and very high alert levels system cleared the House of Commons vote on Tuesday to be enforced from Wednesday, more than 40 MPs from Johnson's own Conservative Party rebelled with their vote against the 10pm curfews imposed on pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality settings.

On the other end of the spectrum, Opposition Labour Leader Keir Starmer demanded a two to three week short "circuit breaker" lockdown instead as he accused the government of having "lost control" of the pandemic.

"The government's plan simply isn't working - another course is needed," he said.

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