UK Lockdowns: Round Three

England’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new national lockdown for England, with citizens instructed to “stay at home” as they did during March’s first lockdown.

Mr. Johnson revealed the new lockdown in an eight-minute TV address on Monday evening, after being told that COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly in every part of the country due to the new strain of the coronavirus.

According to the address England will go back into full national coronavirus lockdown with schools closed and the public required to stay at home until at least mid-February.

“Now more than ever we must pull together,” he said, adding that we should “once again stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

The public are being asked to follow the new rules, which are replacing the tiered system that was employed this summer.

Across the whole country people must now stay at home apart from five exceptions:

  • for work, if people cannot work from home, such as those in the construction sector or key workers
  • to shop for necessities such as food or medicines
  • to exercise once per day at a local location. This can include with one other person from outside someone’s household or support/childcare bubble
  • to provide care or help to vulnerable people
  • to attend medical appointments or medical care, or to flee the threat of harm or violence.

All primary schools, secondary schools and colleges will move to online learning starting January 5th.

However, nurseries can remain open while childcare and support bubbles will stay in place.

The statement from 10 Downing Street was preceded by the announcement of a Scottish lockdown by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon six hours earlier.

The House of Commons will be recalled from its current recess to sit on Wednesday, so MPs can hear a statement from the Prime Minister and to vote on the new lockdown restrictions.