The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a second national lockdown for England to caution the country against “medical and moral disaster” for the NHS.
Johnson said noted that Christmas may be “very different” but hoped taking an early action would mean families can gather.
Non-essential shops, gyms, restaurants, and pubs will remain shut for the next four weeks from Thursday, he announced.
But unlike the earlier restrictions learning institutions will remain open.
Boris said the region would go back to the tiered system, after 2 December once the restrictions are eased.
“Christmas is going to be different this year, perhaps very different, but it’s my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now we can allow families across the country to be together,” the Prime Minister said.
The prime minister said he was “truly sorry” for the impact of the lockdown on businesses, and announced that the furlough system paying 80% of employee wages will be extended through November.
“No responsible prime minister” could ignore figures which suggested deaths would reach “several thousand a day”, with a “peak of mortality” worse than the country saw in April,” he said.
Boris noted that health facilities in the south-west of England, where cases are still low, would soon run of capacity within weeks.
“Doctors and nurses would be forced to choose which patients to treat, who would get oxygen and who wouldn’t, who would live and who would die,” Johnson said.
New Restrictions include:
- People are allowed to leave home for exercise medical reasons, food, and other essential shopping and providing care for vulnerable people or for volunteering
- People asked to stay at home unless they have a specific reason to leave, such as work which cannot be done from home and education
- No meetings indoors or in private gardens.
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- Individuals can meet one another from the other household outside in a public place.
- Citizens allowed to form support bubbles
- Construction sites and manufacturing industries may remain open
- Clinically vulnerable people are asked to be extra careful but people are exempted from shielding.
- Leisure and entertainment areas including gyms will close
- Pubs, bars, restaurants, and non-essential retail across the nation will close but takeaways and click-and-collect shopping can remain open.
- Children can move between homes if their parents are separated