Last night (Saturday), the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced tough new measures to control the coronavirus pandemic.
From midnight on Thursday, England will be going back into lockdown, meaning that households can no longer mix, non-essential shops will close and pubs and restaurants will only be able to serve takeaways. Most international travel will be banned.
Schools, nurseries and universities will remain open.
The lockdown is expected to end on 2 December, however this will depend on how well the new measures are able to tackle the infection rate.
Different households can no longer mix, unless they are part of an ‘exclusive’ support bubble. This means a single-person household can meet and socialise with another household.
You can meet one other person outside of your household for outdoor exercise or recreation.
Childcare bubbles with one other household are allowed, as long as the child is 13 or under.
Under the new restrictions, you may only leave your house to:
- Go to work – although if you’re able to work from home you should not travel into your place of work
- To go to school or university
- For medical appointments
- To exercise with one other person
- To escape injury or harm
- To volunteer and/or care for the vulnearble
- To shop for food and essential products
- To visit people in your support bubble
- Children of separated parents are able to move between their two homes.
Anyone leaving their home for any other reason could face a Fixed Penalty Notice.
You will not be allowed to travel on holiday within the UK or internationally and overnight stays from primary residences are banned.
All shops, apart from those deemed ‘essential’ will close.
Pubs, cafes and restaurants will have to close, as well as entertainment venues including live music and theatres.
Takeaway and delivery services are still allowed.
Communal worship (except funerals and individual prayer), organised team sports and children’s activities are also affected.
However, elite sports will be allowed to continue behind closed doors.
The furlough scheme – which was due to end yesterday (Saturday) – has been extended throughout November.
“We’ve got to be humble in the face of nature,” the Prime Minister said. “The virus is spreading even faster than the reasonable worst-case scenario of our scientific advisers.
“Unless we act, we could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day – a peak of mortality, alas, bigger than the one we saw in April.”