The worldwide death toll from coronavirus has now topped one million – and cases are on the rise across most Western European countries. The UK has been on red alert, with the Government begging the public to follow restrictions in order to save Christmas.
Will there be a winter lockdown?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said he does not want to put the UK into a second lockdown following the economic repercussions of the first lockdown, which began in March this year.
However, Mr Johnson, along with his scientific advisers, have also repeatedly said that extra measures should not be delayed if necessary and that another lockdown is not an avoidable scenario if the rate of infection does not go down.
Speaking earlier this week in a televised press conference, he said the latest increase in coronavirus cases showed why the Government had been forced to bring in new restrictions.
Hospitality services may also be limited or shut down, as well as socialising between households banned.
A “circuit breaker” lockdown was originally devised in Singapore, where Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong implemented the measure back in April.
The measures saw all but essential workplaces closed and restrictions imposed on restaurants and public spaces.
However, experts are divided on whether such a method of lockdown actually works in bringing infection rates down.
As it currently stands, the general rules across England are:
- Office workers who can work from home should do so
- Pubs, bars and restaurants in England must close by 10pm each night
- The hospitality sector must use only table service only
- Face coverings must be worn in shops, on public transport, in taxis and private hire vehicles, and by retail staff while at work. Masks must also be worn when a customer in a hospitality venue is not seated at a table to eat or drink indoors
- The exemptions to the rule of six will be reduced, banning indoor team sport – such as indoor five-a-side football matches
- The planned return of spectators to sports venues will now not go ahead from October
- Wedding ceremonies and receptions are capped at 15 people
Areas in local lockdowns or in areas with heavier restrictions will need to abide by these rules as well as further restrictions specific to their area.