Boris Johnson announces four-week national Covid lockdown in England

Boris Johnson announces four-week national Covid lockdown in England

Restrictions in place from Thursday are needed to tackle coronavirus spread, PM says

A second national lockdown will be imposed across England on Thursday with all nonessential shops, restaurants, pubs and leisure facilities to close for at least four weeks, Boris Johnson has said.

The prime minister dramatically escalated the country’s response to the pandemic in a press conference on Saturday evening, telling the public that “we must act now to contain this autumn surge”, with measures due to remain in place until 2 December.

People have been told to “stay at home” where possible, but will be allowed to leave their homes for education, medical appointments, to shop for essential goods, and to work if they cannot work from home.

Outdoor exercise will also be permitted, with members of the same household or one person from another household.

People will be allowed to leave home to care for vulnerable people, or to escape injury or harm. Takeaways and deliveries will continue to be allowed.

The furlough scheme, covering 80% of the wages of workers who are temporarily laid off, will be extended throughout November, the prime minister said.