Johnson locks down England as UK COVID-19 instances cross 1 million | United Kingdom
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put England back on national lockdown after the UK passed the one million COVID-19 case milestone and a second wave of infections threatened to overwhelm the healthcare sector.
The UK, which has the largest official death toll in Europe with COVID-19, is grappling with more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases every day and scientists have warned that the “worst case” scenario of 80,000 deaths could be exceeded.
Johnson said at a hastily convened press conference on Downing Street after local media learned of a lockdown that the month-long lockdown across England would begin at one minute past midnight Thursday morning and last until December 2nd.
In some of the most onerous restrictions in UK peace history, people are only allowed to leave their homes for specific reasons, such as: B. for reasons of education, work, exercise, shopping for food and medication or the care of vulnerable people.
Important stores, schools, and universities will remain open, Johnson said, and while elite sports continue, amateur sports for adults and children will be urged to stop.
Pubs and restaurants are closed for takeout. All non-essential retail stores will be closed.
“Now is the time to take action because there is no alternative,” said Johnson, flanked by Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance.
“If we don’t act, we could see several thousand deaths a day in this country.”
A government program that paid 80 percent of the wages of millions of workers on leave during the pandemic should end on Saturday but will be extended during the new lockdown.
Al Jazeeras Neave Barker, reporting from London, said the expansion of the vacation program “will be a great relief to people who now know they are entering a phase of lockdown and have government support.
“So this is not just a health problem, but also a deeply financial and economic one.”
Barker said projections of rapidly rising infections and deaths had added urgency to the lockdown.
“That is why the prime minister has made this radical turnaround on his strategy, which used to be only about local lockdowns and limiting the possibility of today’s national lockdown.”
The imposition of stricter curbs came after scientists warned the outbreak was headed in the wrong direction and that action was needed to stop the virus from spreading if families were to hope to close by Christmas in December gather.
Johnson has been criticized by political opponents for being too slow to enter the first national lockdown, which ran from March 23 to July 4. He contracted COVID-19 in late March and was hospitalized in early April.
The measures bring England in line with France and Germany by imposing nationwide restrictions almost as severe as those that drove the world economy into its deepest recession in generations this year.
Austria and Greece also announced on Saturday a night curfew and closings of cafes, bars and restaurants to all but take-out by the end of November in an effort to contain a revival in COVID-19 cases.
According to a record by Johns Hopkins University, the UK has the fifth largest official death toll in the world after the US, Brazil, India and Mexico.
To date, the UK has reported 46,555 COVID-19 deaths – defined as deaths within 28 days of a positive test. A broader death measure for people with COVID-19 on their death certificates results in a toll of 58,925.
Keir Starmer, the Labor opposition leader who called for a lockdown two weeks ago, said the delay in introducing the new restrictions will come “at an economic and human expense”.
Legislators are expected to vote on the proposals on Wednesday.
The new measures apply to England. Other parts of the UK have their own public health measures in place, with Wales and Northern Ireland already effectively closed and Scotland under a number of severe regional restrictions.
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Saturday that people in Scotland should not travel to or from England for the time being “except for essential purposes”.