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We need to discuss which lockdown restrictions should be guidance and which should be law

Fighting the spread of coronavirus requires striking a balance between guaranteeing people's safety and protecting civil liberties. It's time for a national conversation about which rules should be legally enforced, and why

By Jonathan Lis  

Photo: Wiktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/PA Images

On Monday evening came the inevitable. In an address to the nation, Boris Johnson declared a new English lockdown, likely to last until March at the earliest. As with the first lockdown last March, we are legally required to stay in our homes, unless for specific exceptions.

It is generally accepted now that the virus poses a catastrophic threat. Leading scientists say the situation is more perilous than it was in the spring. And it may well be that we need comprehensive and intrusive rules, not simply guidance or requests, to get us through it.

A combination…

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