In recent weeks the Government announced a new three-tier lockdown system in England, which ranks parts of England based on whether the risk of coronavirus is medium, high or very high in an area. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in a televised press conference today (Saturday, October 31) that England will now be entering a national lockdown.
What are the new lockdown rules in England?
From Thursday, November 5 the nation will be placed under a national lockdown until December 2.
Citing Office for National Statistics data, Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, told the Downing Street press conference: “The prevalence of this disease has been going up extremely rapidly over the last few weeks, having been very flat due to the work of everybody in the country over spring and summer.
“And we now have around 50,000 new cases a day and that is rising.”
In response to rising cases, people will be told to stay at home from Thursday, and a number of businesses will have to close.
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People will be able to socialise outdoors with members of their household, or with one person from another household.
Under the new lockdown rules, pubs, restaurants and bars will have to close, but takeaways will be allowed to stay open.
Schools and universities will remain open, but non-essential retail shops will close.
Shielding is not currently being introduced, but those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should take precautions to limit interactions with other people.
Boris Johnson warned that “Christmas is going to different this year” but added that by taking action now he hoped families could be together.
The Government’s furlough scheme is being extended for the duration of lockdown restrictions.
The Government will once again cover 80 percent of employee wages, which will help as non-essential shops close again.
MPs will vote on the new measures before they are introduced on Thursday.
This is a breaking story with updates to follow.