The UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced the national lockdown. In its efforts to curb coronavirus, the stricter measure will be put in place next week as the country reached the 1 million mark for total confirmed infections on November 1st.
The British PM confirmed that non-essential business will be stopped next week. The leisure venues, entertainment places, shops and gyms will be closed from Thursday through 2 December. Under current circumstances, the pubs, bars and restaurants also will stop its activity for a month, the head of the British government warned.
Meantime, educational institutes like schools and colleges will remain open across the UK. PM Johnson warned the nation that the unpopular measure could prevent further deterioration of the epidemiological situation. “I’m afraid from Thursday the basic message is the same: Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives,” Johnson said.
“Christmas is going to be different this year, perhaps very different, but it’s my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action, we can allow families across the country to be together,” the first minister said, echoing similar alerts by France, Germany and Belgium.
COVID-19: the UK reached 1 million mark
As the national health service reported on November 1st, the 1-million mark was reached. Nearly 22,000 new COVID-19 cases within 24 hours were reported. The number is less than in Belgium or France.
Despite this, Britain’s death toll is the highest in Europe, with more than 45,000 related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Earlier, Boris Johnson had introduced a three-tier system of restrictions for England but the move was criticized as insufficient. In October, the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) suggested a new lockdown.