Boris Johnson announces new month-long national lockdown for whole of England
Lockdown 2 is here, strap yourselves in
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new month-long national lockdown in England.
"Now is the time to take action because there is no alternative," said Johnson at a Downing Street press conference.
Having gradually relaxed initial measures introduced in March to control the spread of coronavirus, new cases have soared, prompting the government to bring in new restrictions.
The new measures will see non-essential retail and hospitality close but, unlike the first lockdown in the spring, schools, colleges and universities will be permitted to remain open.
Travel has also been restricted to essential trips only. You may only leave home for work, medical reasons or essential travel.
Boris said you can only leave your house for the following:
- for education
- for work, if you cannot work from home
- for exercise and recreation outdoors
- for medical reasons
- to shop for food and essentials
- to care for others
The restrictions are to begin on Thursday, ending on December 2nd.
Boris Johnson's press conference was delayed, having initially been announced for 4:00pm, then 5:00pm, before they finally took to the stage at 6:45pm.
They made a point of finishing at 7:14pm on BBC One, as Strictly Come Dancing was about to start.
Boris was joined at his press conference by Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, and the government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.
Sir Patrick Vallance said some of the measures have eased the rate of transmission, but infections are still rising.
Vallance continued: "What is clear from all the scenarios is the potential for this to be twice as bad or more compared to the first wave."
Speaking specifically about hospitals Prof Chris Whitty said: "If we do nothing, the inevitable result will be that these numbers will go up and they will eventually exceed the peak we saw in spring of this year."
Vallance said over 50,000 people are believed to be contracting COVID-19 every single day.