British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Jan. 4 another lockdown in England with similar tough restrictions seen last March as a more transmissible COVID-19 variant spreads throughout the country.
In a televised address to the nation, Johnson reimposed COVID-19 restrictions first seen during the beginning of the pandemic, warning that the coming weeks would be the “hardest yet” as the new COVID-19 variant has caused a surge in cases and hospitalizations.
According to Johnson, 30% more COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized on Jan. 4 in England, putting hospitals under “more pressure from COVID than at any time since the start of the pandemic.”
The United Kingdom also has seen over 50,000 new daily cases for nearly a week, the latest being 54,784 cases on Jan. 4, the highest daily toll since the pandemic started.
“It is clear that we need to do more to bring this new variant under control. That means the government is once again instructing you to stay at home,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that the lockdown will take effect on Jan. 6 until at least the middle of February, but he also said that he believed England is in “the last phase of the struggle.”
Under the lockdown, people will be allowed to leave their homes for certain reasons only, which include shopping for necessities, exercise, going to work for those who cannot do so from home, COVID-19 testing, medical assistance, and escaping domestic violence.
All schools and colleges must close and switch to remote learning.
Outdoor sports facilities must also close, but places of worship will remain open as long as attendees observe physical distancing.
The lockdown in England follows other countries in the U.K. that are already in lockdown, including Wales and Ireland.
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