England Faces ‘Toughest’ Lockdown Anew as Infections Surge
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put England under its toughest lockdown in a bid to combat the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.
The restriction was announced on Monday, January 5, on the same day the United Kingdom began the rollout of AstraZeneca’s vaccine.
The new lockdown rules were similar to what was imposed in March which included asking people to stay at home and only leave for necessary purposes.
Trips outside will be allowed only for essential shopping, exercise, Covid-19 testing, medical help, escaping domestic abuse, and work for those who are unable to work from home. Classes have also switched to remote learning beginning Tuesday.
The UK prohibited people who don’t live together from mixing but support and childcare bubbles were still permitted.
In a late-night televised address, Johnson said that the lockdown was the hardest yet but he believed that the country was already entering its last phase of struggle.
“I know how tough this is and I know how frustrated you are,” Johnson was quoted as saying.
“But now more than ever, we must pull together,” he underscored.
Johnson said that people should follow the government rules which were to immediately take effect on Wednesday, January 6.
On the other hand, the three other states—Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales—will have their own rules.
Earlier on Monday, Scotland announced a full, legally-enforced lockdown to tame the spread of the virus. People were ordered to stay home for the month except for necessary purposes.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It is no exaggeration to say that I am more concerned about the situation that we face now than I have been at any time since March.”
The UK has logged an average of 50,000 daily cases for seven days in a row, with 58,784 new infections recorded on Monday, the highest since the pandemic began. The increase was said to be triggered by a new and more transmissible variant of the virus which was first detected in England in November.
Most portions of England were already living under the toughest restriction level under the government’s four-tier system.
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