The whole of England is set to be placed in a second national lockdown (or ‘tier four’) from 00:01 next Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed. The move comes as the UK officially passed 1m recorded cases, with over 21,000 cases added to the figures just today. Forecasts suggest that without action, the NHS would be unable to accept any more patients come Christmas.
Announcing the news in a press conference just this evening, the country will see restrictions similar to those implemented back in March – with a number of businesses largely affected by the rules. The restrictions will last until the 2nd December.
Taking action following a short period under the newly introduced three-tiered system, the new rules mean that all pubs and restaurants will need to close, all non-essential retail stores will close, and no household mixing indoors will be permitted. The public are also being asked to stay home, unless absolutely necessary (for example for essential goods, exercise and work purposes). Supermarkets and essential stores will remain open, along with schools, colleges and universities.
In addition to the above restrictions, international travel will be banned again, with only travel for work purposes permitted. The same rules will apply for overnight stays across the country.
Takeaway and delivery services are permitted to stay open and support bubbles for those who live alone continue to be permitted. It is also permitted to meet with one person from another household in meetings of two.
The furlough scheme has been extended throughout November as a result of the new restrictions, with workplaces required to close unless unable to do so.
It has been confirmed that upon exiting the national lockdown, England could see the reintroduction of tiering systems to manage localised outbreaks of the virus. It is hoped that the tightened restrictions will bring down the infection rate ahead of Christmas.
This is a breaking news story, more as it comes.