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England's new Covid-19 lockdown starts today - here are the rules

Labour’s Keir Starmer said it would be “madness” not to extend the measures if they didn’t work.

coronavirus-sat-oct-31-2020 Boris Johnson addressing the nation to announce a new lockdown for England. Source: EMPICS Entertainment

ENGLAND STARTS A national four-week lockdown today, expected to end on 2 December.

The severe restrictions say that residents “must”:

  • Stay at home except for specific reasons
  • You can leave your home for exercise, to meet with one other person or your support bubble outdoors – you cannot mix with other households indoors.
  • Bars, restaurants and cafés will only be allowed to serve takeaways or delivery orders
  • Non-essential retailers will close, but can still operate a click-and-collect service
  • Schools, colleges and universities remain open
  • Funerals can be attended by up to 30 people, while weddings are not permitted to take place except for in compassionate circumstances
  • Sports facilities, gyms, swimming pools, theatres, cinemas and museums will close.

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales all have their own restrictions. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that the lockdown in England will end on 2 December, despite suggestions it could be extended if it fails to cut infections.

Johnson told parliament the restrictions would “end automatically” on 2 December.

“We will then, I hope very much, be able to get this country going again, to get businesses, to get shops open again in the run up to Christmas,” he told MPs, who had to vote to approve the lockdown yesterday (the result was 516 to 38 in favour).

Boris johnson Source: Twitter

Last weekend, Johnson announced a lockdown across England after dire warnings that hospitals would be overwhelmed with cases in the coming months if nothing was done.

But his senior colleague Michael Gove indicated the lockdown could last beyond the 2 December cut-off if it failed to bring infection rates down.

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The leader of the Labour party, Keir Starmer, also suggested it would be “madness” not to extend the measures if it had not been successful.

He argued for a shorter, circuit-breaker lockdown last month and accused Johnson of ignoring scientific advice to impose the measures sooner.

Johnson had been under pressure from some of his own Conservative MPs not to impose the new restrictions given the effect of the first lockdown on jobs and livelihoods.

The UK is among the hardest-hit countries in the world, with more than 47,000 deaths from just over one million positive Covid-19 cases.

With reporting from AFP

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