PM announces four-week England lockdown as corona cases increases

PM announces four-week England lockdown as corona cases increases

Essential shops will remain open so "there's no need to stock up" the PM insisted, adding that workplaces should stay open where people can not work from home.

England's chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, said at the news conference that "there is basically no flawless time (to act), and there are no good solutions". "Unless we act, we could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day".

Prof Neil Ferguson, whose modelling was crucial to the decision to impose the first lockdown, said keeping universities and schools open meant infections would decrease more slowly this time. Entertainment and leisure activities will be largely prohibited throughout Germany as bars, restaurants, theaters, operas and concert venues will have to close until the end of November.

He urged Mr Johnson not to continue "encouraging businesses to reopen only to force them to lock down again".

Nicola Sturgeon has said she is seeking clarity over the furlough scheme extension following the announcement of a four-week lockdown in England.

Ahead of the news conference, school and university unions called for education institutions to be closed and for teaching to move online in another national lockdown. He fell ill with COVID in late March and was hospitalised in early April. It also comes after weeks during which Johnson said he wanted to avoid the "nuclear option" of nationwide restrictions, despite advice from scientists in September to introduce a shorter "circuit-breaker" lockdown coinciding with school holidays.

"The Opposition leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has demanded the government must use this second lockdown to fix the test, trace and isolate" system and keep the restrictions in place until the infection rate, the so-called R rate, is below 1.

UK government mulling lockdown for England

"I can say yes to the Premier League, I think, with authority", quoted Johnson as saying.

"Now is the time to take action because there's no alternative", he said in a televised address to the nation from Downing Street, adding "the virus is spreading even faster than the reasonable worst-case scenario of our scientific advisers". His medical adviser Whitty said that without the tougher measures then the National Health Service could be overwhelmed. Compounding his political problem, the lead opposition party, Labour, argued for a very similar national lockdown almost three weeks ago - and won't let Johnson forget it.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the proposals on Wednesday.

Johnson may have been swayed by new data seen by the BBC showing that the death toll could go as high as 4,000 a day if stricter policies aren't brought in to slow the spread. The economy slumped a record 20% in the spring.

On the day the United Kingdom passed one million confirmed COVID-19 cases, Johnson made a sudden about-face and confirmed that stringent restrictions on business and daily life would begin Thursday and last until December 2.

Britain is already among the hardest-hit countries in Europe, with the total Covid-19 related deaths nearing 47,000, after another 326 fatalities were announced.

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