Johnson under fire as UK again faces onslaught of COVID-19 – Winnipeg Free Press

FILE - In this Thursday, April 16, 2020 file photo London Ambulance staff, police officers and firefighters take part in the weekly "clap for our carers" as they stand on Westminster Bridge backdropped by a scaffolded Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London, during the lockdown to try and stop the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

FILE – In this Thursday, April 16, 2020 file photo London Ambulance staff, police officers and firefighters take part in the weekly “clap for our carers” as they stand on Westminster Bridge backdropped by a scaffolded Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London, during the lockdown to try and stop the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON – The crisis facing Britain this winter is depressingly familiar: Stay-at-home orders and empty streets. Hospitals overflowing. A daily toll of many hundreds of coronavirus deaths.

The U.K. is the epicenter of Europe’s COVID-19 outbreak once more, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government is facing questions, and anger, as people demand to know how the country has ended up here — again.

Many countries are enduring new waves of the virus, but Britain’s is among the worst, and it comes after a horrendous 2020. More than 3 million people in the U.K. have tested positive for the coronavirus and 81,000 have died — 30,000 in just the last 30 days. The economy has shrunk by 8%, more than 800,000 jobs have been lost and hundreds of thousands more furloughed workers are in limbo.

Even with the new lockdown, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Friday that the situation in the capital was “critical,” with one in every 30 people infected. “The stark reality is that we will run out of beds for patients in
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