British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced that England would enter a month-long lockdown from November 5, the country’s second since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
All non-essential stores across the country will be required to close until December 2, as will hotel establishments, but schools and universities will be allowed to remain open. Johnson said the government would continue to provide financial assistance to workers on leave, paying 80% of their wages. To businesses affected by the measures, he said he was “really, really sorry.”
Flanked by England’s chief medical officer and the government’s chief scientific adviser, the Prime Minister said: ‘We will not return to the full-scale lockdown of March and April. The measures I have described are much less primitive and less restrictive. However, I’m afraid, from Thursday the basic message is the same: stay home, protect them [National Health Service]and save lives. Health officials have warned that many hospitals across the country will be full in the coming weeks.
England’s coronavirus cases topped 1 million for the first time on Saturday with no signs of slowing down, and new infections across the UK and Europe are on the rise. Wales instituted a 17-day lockdown a week before the Downing Street announcement.
“Christmas will be different this year, maybe very different, but I sincerely hope and believe that by acting tough we can make it possible for families across the country to be together,” said Johnson.
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