Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a third national lockdown across England in an effort to bring the “new variant under control”.
Mr Johnson made this known during a televised address to the nation this evening.
The new announcement means that primary schools, secondary schools and colleges will move to in-person teaching from tomorrow, Tuesday until the middle of February.
Schools will remain for the children of vulnerable children and children of key workers.
Children who rely on school meals will still be able to receive them.
Exams have been halted as Mr Johnson said it won’t be fair on the students, therefore an alternative arrangement would be put in place.
The Prime Minister also advises people to remain at home and only leave home for limited exemptions such as for medical reasons or escaping domestic abuse.
The government advised clinically vulnerable people to resume shielding.
Mr Johnson explained that his decision is due to the new variant of coronavirus which has 50% to 70% of transmission and spreads in an “alarming” rate.
‘As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid than at any time since the start of the pandemic,’ he said.
Reacting to the new lockdown, No. 10 spokesmen said the decision was influenced by the ‘rapidly escalating’ numbers of infections following the discovery of the new variant of Coronavirus which is said to be more transmissible.
The new variant was first identified in South-East of England and has seen be found across the country, and other countries like China and the United States.
The spokesman said: ‘The spread of the new variant of Covid-19 has led to rapidly escalating case numbers across the country.
‘The Prime Minister is clear that further steps must now be taken to arrest this rise and to protect the NHS and save lives.’
Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer urged ‘British people to support the package’ the Prime Minister just outlined.
The Labour leader who had called for a National lockdown since on Sunday said ‘The most important thing is the messaging about stay at home and going back to the spirit of March.’
He added ‘Now is the time to support this package, pull it together and do everything we can to try to make this work.
‘Because will largely depend on the willingness of people to comply and I urge everybody to comply with the package the Prime Ministers just outlined’.
Summary of what to expect
What can stay open/carry on:
- Restaurants for deliveries + takeaways, but NO alcohol any more
- Garden centres
- Places of worship
- Dentists + opticians
- Funerals (up to 30)
- Moving house
- Elite sports with their own bubble, eg the Premiership
An immediate stay at home order. You can only leave home for:
- Work, if impossible to WFH (eg critical worker or construction)
- Shop for food or medicine
- Exercise, once per day and only locally
- To help vulnerable people
- For medical appointments or fleeing harm
- All schools and colleges must close (except for key workers’ children), and move to remote provision. Summer GCSEs and A-levels will not go ahead as planned.
What must close/stop:
- All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care, eg hairdressers + nail bars
- Outdoor gyms, golf courses, tennis courts
- All team games no longer permitted
- Holiday homes should not be visited
- Weddings (unless extreme circumstance)
You can read more here on Government website