- England will enter a new nationwide lockdown |
- UK lockdown will last at least until mid-February |
- New COVID-19 cases soar in the UK |
Describing the move as part of “a great national effort to fight COVID,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England will enter a new nationwide lockdown that will last at least until mid-February.
By that time, the Prime Minister said, “if things go well and with a fair wind,” the ‘vulnerable’ groups – frontline health and social care workers, elderly, and clinically vulnerable, should be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The news came as the UK recorded 58,784 new cases of the virus – the country’s highest daily increase to date, and the seventh day in a row it has registered more than 50,000 new infections.
The PM announced the escalation of COVID-19 curbs in a national televised address from Downing Street, saying parts of the county not already subject to Tier 4 restrictions would now be subject to these as well.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier announced that Scotland would enter a national lockdown at midnight on Monday, with the public ordered by law to “stay at home.”
MPs will be recalled to the House of Commons on Wednesday to vote on the new restrictions for England, although they will likely participate virtually and have been urged not to attend in person unless absolutely necessary.
Public Health England’s medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle earlier urged people to continue adhering to health measures, including wearing a face mask, saying: “The continuous rise in cases and deaths should be a bitter warning for us all.”
On Monday, the UK reported a further 407 fatalities within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, taking the total death toll to 75,431, according to official government data.